Tags: Syria | gas | attack | syria | rebels

Gas Attacks Fail to Move Americans to Support Syrian Rebels

Monday, 26 Aug 2013 12:17 PM

By Dan Weil

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Most Americans want the country to keep out of the Syrian civil war, according to a new poll taken just as accusations were made that the Assad regime had used poison gas to kill hundreds of its opponents.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted from August 19-23. The news of the attack on Damascus suburbs came out on August 21.

A hypothetical question about whether the U.S. should intervene if the government used chemical weapons against its own people narrowed the gap, with 25 percent supporting action and 46 percent opposed.

A poll earlier this month had shown slightly stronger support for intervention. "Taken together, the polls suggest that so far, the growing crisis in Syria, and the emotionally wrenching pictures from an alleged chemical attack in a Damascus suburb this week, may actually be hardening many Americans' resolve not to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East," said Reuters.

The new poll of 1,448 people showed only 27 percent backed President Barack Obama's decision to send light arms to Syrian rebels, while 47 percent were opposed.

Given a choice of options that Obama faces, 37 percent of Americans opted for no intervention, 12 percent supported air strikes to help the rebels, 11 percent backed imposition of a "no-fly" zone over Syria, 9 percent approved of funding a multi-national invasion of Syria, and 4 percent supported an invasion with U.S. troops.


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