The death of Qasem Soleimani has been the subject of global headlines and speculation since news broke of the incident on January 3rd.

Soleimani was killed in a drone strike in Baghdad ordered by President Trump. Known by many in the West as “The Shadow Commander,” Soleimani was Iran’s top General and the leader of the Qud Force.  

The Qud Force is an elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that specializes in military intelligence and unconventional warfare. The Qud Force supports global terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Jihad Movement. 

As its leader, Soleimani is said to be responsible for the deaths of 608 American Troops in Iraq through proxy militias, according to data from the Pentagon.

President Donald Trump released a statement claiming that the drone strike that killed Soleimani was a move to prevent a future war, not to start one. Trump said: “"We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stated that Soleimani was planning an “imminent attack” in the region that would put Americans in danger.

Leaders in Iran have since promised swift retaliation, calling the drone strike an act of war. Approximately 3,000 American troops have been deployed to the Middle East in response to these threats. 

Congressman Mike Johnson issued a statement in response to Soleimani’s death. He expressed his support for the President’s decision, and emphasized unity in the face of this crisis.

“Qassem Soleimani was a terrorist and murderer responsible for the slaughter of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. Because of the decisive action last night, no one else will die by his hand, and our nation, our citizens and our allies are safer because of it. As Congress prepares to reconvene, it is important that we are united in our resolve against further Iranian aggression and retaliation. At the same time, all of us should pray and work for the de-escalation of this situation,” Johnson said. 

The Beauregard Daily News and Leesville Daily Leader reached out on social media to ask readers what they thought of the death of Soleimani and the ongoing situation in Iran. 

A large majority of the comments praised President Trump for the drone strike. Many of the comments in support of the President’s actions viewed the drone strike as a necessary move to protect Americans.

“I support what the President did,” said Marcus Owens.  “History shows that without a response to the recent attacks they would have escalated in frequency. Any bully left unchecked will only get worse. Military action should be a last resort, but with that said diplomatic efforts failed. I am a retired Marine, and have been to the Middle East. Most Americans don't realize that those people don't view the world the way we do. There are a lot of decent people over there but for the most part those are not the ones in charge.”

Paulette Talley called for prayer and support for soldiers during this difficult time. She also expressed her support for the President’s approach.

Talley said:  “This is a serious, but very needed, move by the United States. As hard as it is to have our men and women over their, and yes I have family and friends involved, they know that it is always a possibility and they train for it. Prayer is the greatest protection we can give them. I am proud we have a President who is standing up to men who terrorize their own people and kill and torture ours. If they retaliate in any way I pray our President shows them even greater force.”

Many of the other comments expressed a similar sentiment of support for President Trump, and sent out prayers for the newly deployed soldiers responding to the ongoing crisis.