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AP Poll: Most Americans Oppose Strike On Syria

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 10:20 AM CDT

Only 1 in 5 Americans believe that failing to respond to chemical weapons attacks in Syria would embolden other rogue governments, rejecting the heart of a weeks-long White House campaign for U.S. military strikes, an Associated Press poll concluded Monday,

The poll of 1,007 adults nationwide found that most Americans oppose even a limited attack on Syria -- likely with cruise missiles -- despite Obama administration warnings that inaction would risk national security and ignore a gruesome humanitarian crisis. And a slim majority -- 53 percent -- fear that a strike would lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment in Syria.

The survey reflects a U.S. public that is tired of Mideast wars after a dozen years of military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. It undercuts political support Obama is hoping to garner as he seeks congressional authorization this week to strike the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

U.S. officials have cited a high confidence in intelligence that indicates Assad's government launched the Aug. 21 attacks that they say killed more than 1,400 Syrians. Obama last year warned Assad that using chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war would amount to a "red line" that, if crossed, would bring a swift U.S. response.

But the White House is facing lukewarm support in Congress, where many lawmakers have questioned whether the strikes would create more of a problem for the U.S. than they would help the nearly three year effort to overthrow Assad.

"America needs to stop getting into other people's business and causing a war that's mainly unneeded," Patrick Lawrence, a student at Loyola Marymount University, said Monday while eating breakfast at a Glendale, Calif., bakery.

If Assad still refuses to negotiate an end to the Syrian civil war, "then we should go after him instead of going after innocent people in random cities," Lawrence said. He was referring to the strong possibility of civilians who would be killed unintentionally during U.S. strikes.

Released Monday, the AP poll was conducted September 6-8 by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,007 adults nationwide. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

AP Poll: Most Americans Oppose Strike On Syria


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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


 

Syria National Videos

Poll

Should the president forgo military strikes on Syria, if Congress opposes an attack?

YES
NO
NOT SURE

Poll Results

100% NOT SURE

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