KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- As officials stand by the decision to carry out the strike on top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, local Middle Eastern Studies experts explain what it all means for those of us in Kansas City.
According to UMKC Assistant Professor of Political Science Rebecca Best, Soleimani's position would be comparable to a well-known general in the United States.
"This is a guy who I think we're going to see in the media debates about how critical he, as an individual, was to Iranian military capability," Best said.
The leader of Iran's elite Quds Force was killed outside the airport in Baghdad, Iraq.
"The administration has already said that this attack was designed to thwart imminent attacks on the United States that he was involved in," Best said.
The top Iranian official, who the U.S. labeled a terrorist, is blamed for planning a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base last month that killed an American contractor. This on the heels of the attack on the U.S. Embassy, which many believe he was also behind.
"President Trump's decision to remove Qassem Soleimani from the battlefield saved American lives, there is no doubt about that," said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"If you're looking for, 'How does this affect me in Kansas City?' there are maybe three areas that you'd want to look at," Best said.
According to her, gas prices will more than likely go up.
"As Iran retaliates, some of that retaliation is going to be harassment in the Strait of Hormuz," she said. "That's where a really high percentage of the world's oil has to move through."
Best also said we could also see more military personnel deployed from bases in our area.
"And, the troops who are deployed are going to be in potentially greater danger because I do think we're going to see increasing hostilities between the United States, and Iran, and the Iranian backed militias terrorist groups," she explained.
Best also said that, with Iran being a state sponsor of terrorism, that could also increase.
"The game has changed, and we're prepared to do what is necessary to defend our personnel and our interests and our partners in the region," said U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
We reached out to local law enforcement to see if they will be making security changes and they responded by saying that they are not but will continue to work with federal partners.
KCTV5 also reached out to the local group for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The organization said in a statement, in part: "Currently we are monitoring the developing situation resulting from the U.S. assassination of the Iranian commander and are concerned about the safety of all people in the region. We will not make any predictions or comments until the situation is clearer."