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Peace rally planned for Thursday to protest growing tension between U.S., Iran

DeKALB – DeKalb residents are planning to protest what they’re calling “reckless action” by President Donald Trump as tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate after the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

“War is so terrible and so many people get hurt on both sides,” organizer Meryl Greer Domina said Tuesday. “Hurt and killed. We should be putting resources into education, solving crises like climate change and giving people jobs. But putting them as soldiers is so negative.”

Domina and others from organizations such as Indivisible and moveon.org, part of a nationwide organization holding peace rallies across the country, will be from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Park, at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway in downtown DeKalb for a Peace Rally, according to a news release from organizers. They’re calling for an end to rising tensions in the Middle East with the hashtag #NoWarWithIran, according to the release.

“We want to communicate loud and clear to the public, the media, to Trump, to members of Congress of both parties that the majority of Americans stand firmly against Trump’s march to war,” according to the release.

The 62-year-old Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was the target of Friday’s U.S. attack, which was conducted by an armed American drone, according to a U.S. official. Soleimani’s vehicle was struck on an access road near the Baghdad airport. A senior Iraqi security official said the airstrike took place near the cargo area after Soleimani left his plane and joined al-Muhandis and others in a car.

Iran struck back at the U.S. on Wednesday, firing a series of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops in a major escalation that brought the two longtime foes closer to war. Iranian state TV said it was in revenge for the U.S. killing of Soleimani.

There was no immediate word on injuries. Iran initially announced only one strike, but U.S. officials confirmed both.

The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

Vice President Mike Pence has briefed top Democrats in Congress on the Iranian strikes on installations in Iraq holding U.S. forces. Aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both confirmed the lawmakers spoke with the vice president by telephone Tuesday.

Domina said Thursday’s rally also will include organizers worried about climate change.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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