US, British public reject stronger military support for Syrian rebels

Last Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 22:04

London: Americans and Britons support the current "non-lethal" assistance given by their countries to the opposition forces in Syria but have rejected stronger military support for the rebels, says a new bi-national survey.

Despite the ongoing civil war in Syria, there is little appetite for more robust action than the current approach of providing "non-lethal support" to the rebels, the Guardian daily cited the YouGov poll as saying.

There have been increasing demands in the US to arm the opponents of the Bashar al-Assad regime or intervene more directly.

But the survey -- produced for YouGov-Cambridge, the polling company`s academic think-tank -- found that 45 percent of US voters were opposed to the idea of supplying munitions to Syrian rebels. Only 16 percent in favour.

Identical questions were posed in Britain, and the British public emerged as even more strongly against -- 57 percent opposed arming the rebels and 16 percent were in favour.

The thought of sending western troops to Syria was also badly received.

In Britain, 55 percent rejected the idea of sending in British and allied troops to protect civilians while 23 percent were in favour.

In the US too, proposals to send armed forces was against public opinion.

Americans leaned 33-27 percent against sending in troops "to protect civilians" in Syria.

Meanwhile, respondents on both sides of the Atlantic are in favour of "enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria so the Syrian air force cannot attack rebels or civilians".

In Britain, 61 percent in favour and 18 percent against, while in the US there was a 50 percent to 18 percent statistic behind the same proposition.

YouGov-Cambridge surveyed 3,646 British adults and 1,022 American adults online. The figures are representative of adults aged 18 or over.

IANS




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