MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dozens of demonstrators took to the sidewalks and the streets to voice their concerns over U.S. actions in the Middle East.

“We need to be pulling out of Iraq, not sending thousands more troops. We need to be trying to cool things down with Iran, not pouring gasoline on a fire,” Meredith Aby, of the Anti-War Committee, said.

The day began near the corner of 3rd Street and Cedar Avenue South, with rally-goers holding signs, chanting, and making statements. The group of about 200 later marched down the road for about a mile.

All of this follows a U.S. air strike in Iraq earlier this week that killed an Iranian military commander.

The Pentagon said on Friday that the United States is sending nearly 3,000 additional troops to the Middle East as a precaution amid rising threats to American forces in the region.

(credit: CBS)

The Minnesota National Guard already has more than 900 citizen soldiers deployed in several locations in Kuwait and Iraq.

That number includes 700 soldiers and 200 airmen.

Organizers of the rally say they want to see a world where there isn’t conflict in that region.

“I have students that have never known a lifetime where we haven’t been at war with Iraq. I personally turned 18 in the year we started the first Gulf War and today is my 47th birthday. We have literally been at war in Iraq for decades,” Aby said.

Saturday’s demonstration in Minneapolis was a part of a coordinated day of protests across the country.

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