Poll: Majority don't want U.S. military involvement in Syria

May 31, 2013 at 10:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- A majority of Americans say they're against U.S. military involvement in Syria if diplomatic and economic efforts fail to end the civil war, Gallup said.

Results of a poll released Friday indicated 68 percent of Americans asked said they don't favor U.S. military involvement in Syria while 24 percent said they did.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has said he favored arming anti-government forces in Syria and recently visited the country. So far, Obama administration actions have been limited to participating in third-party peace talks and providing humanitarian aid to anti-government forces.

U.S., Russian and U.N. officials are to meet next week to discuss possible solutions to the conflict. Multinational peace talks with Syrian factions are scheduled to take place in Geneva in June. However, it is unclear whether both sides in Syrian conflict will attend, as well as which outside countries will be allowed to participate.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Thursday laid out his opposition to U.S. intervention in Syria.

"It is unclear what national security interests we have in the civil war in Syria," Paul wrote in a commentary published at CNN.com. "It is very clear that any attempt to aid the Syrian rebels would be complicated and dangerous, precisely because we don't know who these people are."

His comments came after McCain's unannounced trip to Syria during which he met with rebels who are battling Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The rebels "do not understand why we won't help them," McCain told CNN Wednesday.

McCain also said he doesn't want U.S. troops on the ground in Syria.

In the Gallup poll, Republican respondents were somewhat more likely than Democrats to support U.S. military action, 31 percent to 20 percent.

College graduates were less inclined to back U.S. military involvement than those without a college degree, results indicated.

Results based on nationwide telephone interviews with 1,011 conducted Tuesday and Wednesday. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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