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Poll: Half of Americans support strikes on Syria -- but no bump for Trump

By Allen Cone
Poll: Half of Americans support strikes on Syria -- but no bump for Trump
The USS Ross fires a Tomahawk cruise missile on Thursday at an airbase in Syria. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy | License Photo

April 11 (UPI) -- Half of American adults support the U.S. strikes on Syria -- historically lower than other military actions, according to a Gallup poll.

Fifty percent of Americans approve of the missile strikes launched Thursday, compared with 41 disapproval and 10 percent with no opinion in the Gallup survey.

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The poll was conducted Friday and Saturday with a random sample of 1,015 adults 18 and older living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. On Thursday, the U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria from which the country is accused of launching a chemical attack two days earlier that killed and injured hundreds of men, women and children.

Gallup has measured Americans' reactions to 11 other military interventions since 1983 when the United States invaded Grenada (53 percent approval).

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A majority of Americans approved of all the actions except the bombing of Libya in 2011. In that attack, support was 47 percent compared with 37 percent disapproval.

The highest ratings were intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorists attacks in the United States (90 percent), bombing Iraq for violations of U.N. resolutions in 1993 (83 percent), the war against Iraqi in 2003 (76 percent), military attacks against terrorist facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 (66 percent) and an operation against the warlords in Somalia in 1993 (65 percent).

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The strikes against Syria were supported along party lines with 82 percent of the Republicans backing them compared with 33 percent Democrats and 44 percent independents.

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The last two U.S. military actions -- Libya in 2011 as well as Iraq and Syria in 2014 -- were ordered by President Barack Obama and did not follow partisan lines.

The Syrian strikes did not improve Trump's approval rating. It averaged 40 percent Tuesday through Thursday before the strikes and the same Friday through Sunday after the strikes. The latest disapproval rating was 54 percent.

In a Gallup three-day rolling average through March 28, his rating was 36 percent, which was a new low for the president.

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The Syrian strikes survey has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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