Local demonstrators protest US airstrike that killed Iranian general

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SAN DIEGO — Demonstrators gathered outside the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building downtown Saturday to protest the U.S. airstrike that killed an Iranian general earlier this week.

The Pentagon confirmed a U.S. airstrike targeting Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at Baghdad’s international airport on Jan. 2. The White House officially informed Congress of the airstrike that killed Soleimani on Jan. 4.

Protesters gathered in cities throughout California and across the country Saturday to demonstrate against escalating tensions in the Middle East, which many lawmakers fear could lead to a retaliation from Iran.

Defense officials said Friday that nearly 3,000 additional Army troops will be sent to the Middle East as reinforcements, due to the volatile reaction to the killing of Soleimani.

Demonstrators with opposing views gathered outside the federal building in San Diego Saturday in what was largely a peaceful protest.

Most protesters said they wanted the U.S. to pull back after the recent escalation. “(It’s) another war in the Middle East that’s going to pull our pensions, pull our healthcare and housing rights down the drain,” one protester told FOX 5.

“I wish I could say I was shocked by the actions of Donald Trump taking such an abrasive and abrupt action, but I’m not surprised,” another protester said.

One man who showed up to the demonstration in support of President Trump was met with strong reactions from those who believe the escalation was an unnecessary move toward war.

“I do support our president,” the man told FOX 5. “I think President Trump has done a great job with our economy and I think that we have to withhold judgment in terms of our military’s countermovements. I think we have to give President Trump a chance to let him say what he wants to say.”

Trump said Friday that Solemati has killed thousands of Americans over the years and was “plotting to kill” many more. “He should have been taken out years ago,” Trump said in a tweet Friday.

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