Anti-war demonstrations have been organized in cities across the US on Saturday, January 4, after a US drone strike killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport (BGW) on Friday, January 3. Participants are reportedly calling for the withdrawal of all US troops and military bases in the Middle East. Notably, demonstrations have been organized in Washington, DC, Chicago (Illinois state), Los Angeles (California state), and New York City (New York state), among other cities. A full list of planned protests can be accessed here.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in protest-affected areas over the coming hours. Similar demonstrations are possible over the coming days.
The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3 claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting and killing Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW) the same day. According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike along with six other individuals. The situation remains fluid.
Individuals in areas affected by protest activity are advised to monitor developments, avoid demonstration sites, prepare for resultant disruptions to transportation, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.