Retired general, citizens support U.S. airstrike on Baghdad that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani

Louisiana

FILE- In this Sept. 18, 2016 photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran. A U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s airport on Friday Jan. 3, 2020 killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Soleimani was considered the architect of Iran’s policy in Syria. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — A retired general and members of the general public in Shreveport-Bossier City have had a strong reaction to the airstrike that killed an Iranian general in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.

And it’s generally widespread support for the U.S. action.

President Donald Trump says the Iranian military commander killed by the airstrike was plotting to kill many Americans, so U.S. forces acted first.

General Qassem Soleimani also was responsible for killing and wounding thousands of Americans and many others in the region, the president added.

Supporters of that airstrike include retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Peyton Cole, a former commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing. That’s the B-52 bomber unit assigned to the Air Force Global Strike Command and Eighth Air Force and stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base.

Cole said the attack sent a clear signal “… that we’re not going to put up with that anymore. We’re too much of a power to cower and be afraid of a country like Iran.”

Instead, Cole said, the U.S. must lead from a position of strength, not weakness.

“This is a nasty world. And if we don’t take action to protect our citizens, then they’re going to continually be subject to terrorist actions.”

While you might expect a retired general to support such an airstrike against Iran’s most powerful general, KSLA News 12 also found support among members of the general public.

“I’m just glad that we have a strong commander-in-chief that will let our military do what they do best. And that’s protect the USA and its interests,” said Randall Kennington, a regular at Cafe USA.

Those are common views, according to Lorri Harris, who owns the diner along Barksdale Boulevard in Bossier City.

“If they’re gonna start attacking our embassies and stuff, it’s time for us to stand up and let them know that we’re going to defend ourselves.”

That said, nobody there wanted a war, either.

So now the U.S. must wait to see how Iran responds.

KSLA News 12 asked Barksdale Air Force Base officials for any comment on how these recent developments in the Mideast may affect the military installation’s operations and the community at large. They referred any questions to the Pentagon.

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