Gallup: Americans disapprove of decision to arm Syrian rebels

June 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

PRINCETON, N.J., June 17 (UPI) -- A majority of Americans say they don't approve of the Obama administration's decision to provide direct military aid to Syrian rebels, a Gallup poll indicated.

Fifty-four percent said they disapprove of the administration's decision last week to send direct military aid to Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's regime while 37 percent said they approve, results released Monday indicated.

When Gallup polled Americans last month about U.S. intervention in Syria, the question focused on the United States taking "military action" if economic and diplomatic efforts failed to end the country's civil war. In that survey, 68 percent said they opposed the proposal, higher than the percentage who oppose Obama's decision to provide military aid directly to the rebels, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

When the administration said Friday it would begin providing military aid directly to rebels, the administration said part of its rationale for the change in policy was its conclusion that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against the rebels.

Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews conducted with 1,015 Saturday and Sunday. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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