Most Americans do not want U.S. involved in Syria: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON Wed May 1, 2013 5:28pm EDT

A member of the Free Syrian Army points his weapon through a hole in a wall as he takes up a defensive position during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's Salaheddine district, April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Malek Alshemali

A member of the Free Syrian Army points his weapon through a hole in a wall as he takes up a defensive position during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's Salaheddine district, April 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Malek Alshemali

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most Americans do not want to intervene in Syria's civil war, although the percentage in favor more than doubles if President Bashar al-Assad's forces use chemical weapons against their people, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

Only 10 percent of those surveyed in the online poll said the United States should intervene in the fighting. Sixty-one percent opposed getting involved.

But the figure favoring intervention rises to 27 percent if the Damascus government uses chemical weapons, while 44 percent would remain opposed.

The rebellion against Assad's government has resulted so far in 70,000 dead and created more than 1.2 million refugees since it erupted in 2011.

President Barack Obama has shied away from deep U.S. involvement, although he declared last year that the use or deployment of chemical weapons by Assad's government would cross a "red line."

Obama said on Tuesday there was evidence those weapons had been used, but too much is still unknown for Washington to do more than provide the non-lethal aid it is already sending to the Syrian rebels.

Many Americans are still oblivious to events in Syria. The poll found that about one-third, or 36 percent, had neither heard nor read anything about the civil war there.

Only 8 percent said they had heard or read a great deal and 19 percent said they had heard or read a "fair amount."

The online poll of 519 Americans aged 18 and over was conducted from April 26-May 1. The survey has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Philip Barbara)

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Comments (12)
Unchained wrote:
War and debt, war and debt, all America makes now is war and debt.
War and debt, war and debt, America is bankrupt from war and debt.
Guess what the “Solution” is from our “Leaders”?
Their solution is more war and debt.
Time to go Iceland on the banksters and their puppet politicians!

May 01, 2013 5:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TomBrown wrote:
Doesn’t matter to the neo-cons: Jennifer Rubin, William Krystol, Charles Krauthammer, Dick Cheney, Fred Barnes, John Bolton, John McCain, Lindsey Graham… who cares what the people want! Obama NEEDS to lead us into another fruitless Middle Eastern war! I’m willing to do it, as long those exact same people lead the charge, literally!… which will never happen, since McCain excluded, they’re a bunch of chicken hawks. They love to sound tough, and they’re desperate for the GOP to take its “rightful place” as the party Americans trust with war and national defense… but when it comes to putting themselves at risk… well we’ve seen what happens! Just ask five deferment Cheney. He had “other priorities” … and chances are, he still does!

May 01, 2013 5:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TastySalmon wrote:
Isn’t it obvious to the politicians that we, the public, don’t want to go to war to support radical Islamists? By helping to defeat Assad, we are, without question, supporting AQ and other groups we’ve been trying to destroy since 2001.

Aside from seeing that 1/3 of the respondents weren’t aware of any “civil war” in Syria, it is good to know that Americans overwhelming appear not to want another pointless war.

May 01, 2013 7:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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