According to a poll conducted by Gallup research institute, the majority of Americans are against their country’s military involvement in Syria.
The poll’s results, which were published last Friday, also indicated that 68 per cent of Americans say that the U.S. should not use any military force in an attempt to end the civil war in Syria, even if diplomatic and economic efforts fail to resolve the conflict.
On the other hand, 24 per cent of the participants favoured US military involvement. The poll showed that Americans are not optimistic that the conflict between government and rebel forces in Syria will be solved through diplomatic and economic means. Moreover, 58 per cent said they do not believe such efforts will resolve the conflict, whereas 27 per cent said they believed it will.
Although the Americans do not expect diplomatic efforts and economic relations to succeed in resolving the conflict, they have a clear preference for keeping the U.S. military out of the Syrian conflict.
Based on the nature of the US’s dealings with the current situation in Syria, Gallup said that the Obama administration’s actions have been limited to participating in third-party peace talks and providing food and medical aid to anti-government forces. However, the administration says it is keeping its options open.
The poll results also indicated a decline in Americans’ interest in the Syrian conflict, as 49 per cent of Americans say they are following news about the Syrian conflict “very” or “somewhat” closely, which has dropped from 60 per cent in the past.
This falls in line with the official American actions that distance the US from military involvement, despite the death of approximately 100,000 Syrians during the conflict over the last 2 years.
Official American reluctance is attributed to a number of reasons, including the fact that Washington prefers to have limited conflict with a party that can be contained, rather than peace with a party that cannot be controlled. This is in view of the possibility of a national independent Syrian government being established, especially in light of the Arab Spring, which may bring Islamists to power who America does not want present in the international arena.
Moreover, Washington considers the current situation in Syria beneficial to it, as it is exhausting Iran, its allies and its militias, as well as the Sunni parties fighting in Syria. The US expects that the result of this situation will be the weakening of all these forces, as well as Iran being distracted from its nuclear program and threatening its Gulf neighbours. In addition to this, the conflict in Syria is contributing to the decimation of the Syrian army and its weapons, similar to what happened to the Iraqi army.
This does not mean that there are no exceptions to these opinions on the Syrian conflict – American citizen Nicole Lynn Mansfield was recently reported to have gone to Syria to fight with the rebels after she converted to Islam and began wearing the hijab. However, she was killed by regime forces, along with two unidentified British individuals.
The 33 year old’s family have recently announced that she was killed in Syria while fighting in the ranks of the resistance forces. Official Syrian television reported that Mansfield was killed while fighting in Idlib with the resistance and showed a picture of her driver’s license in which she was wearing a hijab.