'A more dangerous world': US killing triggers global alarm

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike, in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. The Pentagon said Thursday that the U.S. military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump.

Taking out Iran’s top general was not only the right decision, but it was long overdue, according to some retired Army generals in the Fort Hood Area.

President Donald J. Trump on Thursday ordered a drone missile strike against Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani after an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, led by Iranian-supported militia groups. The president said Friday there was intelligence Soleimani was planning an imminent attack on American diplomats and soldiers and took the Iranian general out to prevent it.

“When I was commanding the Multi-National Division in Iraq in 2006, (Soleimani) was responsible for killing some of my guys in Baghdad,” said retired Gen. James Thurman, a Salado-area resident. “The president did the right thing — we need to defend this country and our people abroad, and (Soleimani) was responsible for the recent attack on our embassy.”

Other retired generals in Central Texas agreed with Thurman.

“He was a flagrant terrorist — he flaunted it,” retired Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk, a Gatesville resident, said about Soleimani. “He was not a national leader, he was an international terrorist. Anyone whose kids were over there (in Iraq), this guy had a price on their heads. The higher their rank, the higher the price.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Pete Taylor, of Harker Heights, said killing Soleimani was the right move because he was an immediate threat to American lives.

“Soleimani was obviously a bad person and the world is better off without him,” Taylor said. “I’m not sure what it does long term strategically (for the U.S.), but time will tell. We’ll have to see what additional things happen.”

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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