For every hard and fast rule there seems to be an exception, of which some of those exceptions, may have validity, whereas many of them, definitely do not; though the defenders of those exceptions will provide all sorts of reasons, as to why such and such should be an exception to that rule. When it comes to targeting killing, there are countries, of which the most notable example is the United States, that somehow are able to make what they believe to be a legitimate argument as to why these targeted killings should not be branded as crimes against humanity, and therefore why the United States is not the haven thereof of war criminals.
The targeted killing of another is really just the rebranding of assassination, and therefore targeted killing is essentially as stated by Wikipedia.org the killing: "….of an individual by a state organization or institution outside a judicial procedure or a battlefield," which clearly is exactly what the United States has been doing in their undeclared wars against foreign nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. In addition, this is the same action taken against nebulous organizations such as Taliban and Al Qaeda. The given reason why the United States engages in targeted killing is to basically kill the "bad guys," as conveniently defined by the United States.
It would be one thing if the United States, before it conducts its targeted killing, was to go forth before the United Nations, and actually make its case within a public forum, and therefore have a judgment rendered as to whether, first of all, the use of killing force is justified against that perceived enemy, and further whether the use of targeted killing, and the conditions of that targeted killing, are thereby conducted in a manner consistent with such a judgment, if the use of force was approved to begin with.
Instead, the United States, simply does whatever that it so desires to do in regards to targeted killings, and has dubious position papers written that supposedly supports their interpretation of the legitimacy of these targeted killings, that the United States so wants. If the United States truly believes that international law and that the United Nation rulings does not apply to the United States, when the United States believes that such a ruling would be unfavorable or inconvenient to them, then why should any other country abide by that rule of law, if the sole superpower of the world, believes it is above such laws, when it suits its purposes to be so?
When any country takes it upon itself to simply kill what that country believes is in their best interests to kill, of which such actions include targeted killings and assassinations of which these premeditated killings are done deliberately in a non-transparent, deceptive, and extrajudicial manner, then the legitimacy of their cause must be called into question, for those that believe that the ends justify the means, are never beacons of liberty, justice, and freedom but instead actually represent oppression, injustice, and suppression by any means, necessary.