Americans back US-Russia deal on Syria

Americans back US-Russia deal on Syria
Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:32:36

Americans have overwhelmingly supported the diplomatic agreement between the United States and Russia to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

US President Barack Obama faced strong public opposition when he initially claimed for military strikes against the Syrian government in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons. That opposition is largely unchanged in the new survey, with 61 percent saying that they are against such strikes.

Asked whether American respondents would favor a congressional resolution authorizing force if the deal does not yield results, only 44 percent say they would support it and 48 percent say they would not.

The president and other administration officials have said that the threat of military action was instrumental in bringing about the weekend agreement, which requires that Syria’s chemical weapons stocks be given up and eventually destroyed. The poll finds that 47 percent think the threat helped pressure Syria into agreeing to cede control of its chemical weapons, while 40 percent say the threat hurt diplomacy.

Obama drew more positive than negative reactions for last week’s nationally televised speech on Syria, with nearly half the country (47 percent) saying that he made a persuasive case for military action and about a third finding him unpersuasive. Notably, those who found him persuasive are twice as likely to say that the threat of military action helped force a diplomatic solution rather than hurting the situation.

Still, just 36 percent say they approve of his handling of the Syria situation, while 53 percent disapprove. Sixty percent of Democrats rate the president positively, while 79 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents rate him negatively.

Obama’s overall approval rating shows the country evenly divided, with 47 percent positive and 47 percent negative. That split represents a small but steady deterioration in his approval numbers since he was sworn in for a second term in January. His approval rating on international affairs is also 47 percent.

The call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the Syrian government of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the chemical attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.


string(1047) "[{"id":"1509246","sort":"3092844","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/25/alalam_635130165302127808_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Americans oppose US intervention in Syria: Poll"} ,{"id":"1515374","sort":"3092845","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/10/alalam_635144058702113956_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US military options risky in Syria: RAND study"} ,{"id":"1515461","sort":"3092846","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/10/alalam_635144129334193048_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US Senate delays voting on Syria war"} ,{"id":"1516420","sort":"3092847","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/13/alalam_635147106586136639_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US Military: Al-Qaeda produced sarin for chemical attacks in Syria"} ,{"id":"1516499","sort":"3092848","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/14/alalam_635147499349159354_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Three-fourth of Americans reject US war on Syria"} ,{"id":"1516823","sort":"3092849","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/15/alalam_635148358476082689_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US troops join public in rejecting war on Syria: Poll"} ]"