As President Barack Obama continues to contemplate a possible military intervention in Syria, a new poll asked Americans what they thought about such a scenario.
According to Reuters, they overwhelmingly oppose it, even after news of an alleged chemical attack against Syrian civilians last week.
Reuters reported that "about 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria's civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act."
One of the shocking images appearing in a video posted by Syrian opposition activists last week alleging to show the victims of a chemical attack (Image source: YouTube)
The Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that more Americans would support the idea of U.S. military involvement if it was determined that chemical weapons had indeed been used, “but even that support has dipped in recent days,” Reuters reported.
The poll which was conducted August 19-23 found that only 25 percent of Americans support the idea of American involvement if Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces used chemical weapons. Those opposed in that scenario: 46 percent.
Despite the appearance of gruesome videos showing dozens of bodies of Syrian babies, children and adults, the support for the idea of U.S. involvement actually declined over the past week. The last Reuters/Ipsos tracking polls dated August 13 “found that 30.2 percent of Americans supported intervention in Syria if chemicals had been used, while 41.6 percent did not.”
As CBS reported Saturday, the Pentagon is making “initial preparations” for a cruise missile attack on Assad’s forces after suspecting them to have employed chemical weapons against civilians.
Obama met with his national security team on Saturday to discuss what steps if any the U.S. will take. The AP reports that the administration has still not determined if Assad’s forces used chemical weapons.
Last August, the president stated that Syrian government use of chemical weapons would constitute the crossing of a “red line” in the ongoing civil war that has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives, suggesting it would prompt U.S. intervention.
Of all the options the Reuters/Ipsos poll examined, the most popular was not to get involved in Syria at all, backed by 37 percent of Americans.
“Less popular options include air strikes to help the rebels (supported by 12 percent of Americans); imposing a 'no-fly' zone over Syria that would ground Assad's air force (11 percent); funding a multi-national invasion of Syria (9 percent), and invading Syria with U.S. troops (4 percent),” writes Reuters.
The full poll can be seen at this link.