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Poll: Majority of Americans approve of Trump’s air strikes in Syria

A majority of Americans — 57 percent — support President Donald Trump’s decision last week to target Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military with air strikes. The White House believes Assad was behind a Sarin gas attack last week that killed at least 86 people, including 28 children. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A majority of Americans think President Donald Trump did the right thing by launching air strikes against the Syrian military and targeting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the government's most recent use of chemical weapons on it's own people, a new poll shows.

According to a recent CBS News survey,  57 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s action. Only 18 percent support putting troops on the ground, and half of Americans would limit further involvement in Syria to either air strikes or diplomacy.

The poll was conducted after a Sarin gas attack — believed to have been carried out by Assad — killed at least more than 80 people, including 28 children.

Following the strikes late last week, Trump’s overall approval rating bumped to 43 percent, while 49 percent still disapprove of the president.

Moving forward, most respondents say Congress must authorize any further actions in Syria. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans believe Trump needs authorization, and 53 percent of Republicans agree.

Americans support the air strikes, at least in part, because many — 45 percent — believe the use of chemical weapons is immoral, the CBS poll found. However, there is division on whether or not the chemical weapons attack constitutes a direct threat to the United States: 42 percent say it is not.

There are concerns about Trump’s ability to handle the situation in Syria in the future. While Republicans overwhelmingly trust Trump, only 41 percent of overall respondents expressed confidence in the president. Eleven percent of Democrats trust his ability to handle Assad.

Only 35 percent of respondents see Trump’s approach to Russia — which sides with the Assad regime — as “too friendly” as a result of the air strikes last week.

In response to the air strikes, the Kremlin slammed the U.S., claiming it broke international laws and attacked the regime under “invented pretext.”

The CBS survey was conducted by telephone between April 7-9 among a random sample of 1,006 Americans across the country. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

 

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