Poll: Most Americans oppose intervention in Syria
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Poll: Most Americans oppose intervention in Syria

3 out of 5 against US taking action, though more support involvement if chemical weapons are used, Reuters/Ipsos survey shows

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and IDF chief Benny Gantz look toward Syria while visiting Mount Hermon in October 2012. (photo credit:DOD/D. Myles Cullen)
US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and IDF chief Benny Gantz look toward Syria while visiting Mount Hermon in October 2012. (photo credit:DOD/D. Myles Cullen)

Most Americans would disapprove of US troops being sent to intervene in Syria’s civil war, though support for military action would rise should Syrian President Bashar Assad use chemical weapons, a poll released late Wednesday found.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll found that only 10 percent of Americans thought the US should become directly involved in Syria’s ongoing conflict, while 61% opposed US intervention.

However, 27% of Americans supported taking action if Assad’s regime uses chemical weapons, while 44 percent would still be opposed to US involvement.

US officials confirmed last week that they believed chemical weapons had been used by Damascus against rebel forces, an action which had previously been termed a “red line” by US President Barack Obama.

Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tempered their statements on Tuesday, indicating that they were still determining the nature of the suspected sarin attacks and would not consider action until they had fully parsed the intelligence reports.

The poll also found Americans to be generally uninterested in the Syrian civil war, which has killed over 70,000 people and created over a million refugees in two years of fighting.

Only 8% told pollsters they had heard or read a great deal on the subject, while 39% said they hadn’t heard or read anything about the conflict. Another 19% reported that they heard or read a fair amount.

The poll was conducted with 519 Americans over the last five days and had a margin of error of plus-minus 4.9%

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