Almost half of Britons would support sending the armed forced to engage Islamic State (IS) in Syria, a new poll has found.
David Cameron famously suffered a “humiliating” defeat in Parliament in 2013, when he asked for MPs to support military intervention in Syria.
The episode perpetuated the view that the country is war-weary following mistakes in Iraq and the expensive, protracted campaign in Afghanistan.
This new poll comes on the one year anniversary of the beginning of UK air operations in Iraq, and as the government prepares to ask Parliament for authorisation to expand the current campaign from Iraq to include Syria.
The survey asked people whether they would back sending British soldiers into Syria to fight IS, as part of a wider coalition campaign.
Of those interviewed by Sky News, 46 per cent of respondents said they would support “boots on the ground”, while 31 per cent were against any such operation.
Back in 2013, a YouGov poll showed that most people were opposed to strikes.
Furthermore, around 73 per cent of responders now support bombing specific threats to British national security in Syria.
This follows the Prime Minister’s controversial decision to take out two Britons at the beginning of the month, thought to be plotting attacks in the UK, with an RAF drone strike in Syria.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon implied the Government would still like to extend airstrikes to Syria: “ISIL are in both Iraq and Syria and they don’t recognise the border,” he said, adding: “But we’ve made it very clear that if we extend any operation to Syria, we would have to come back to Parliament and make the case and obtain fresh authority.”
In his address to Parliament on September 7 regarding the migrant crisis, the Prime Minister said the UK must peruse a “comprehensive approach that tackles the causes of the problem as well as the consequences.”
“That means helping to stabilise countries where the refugees are coming from; seeking a solution to the crisis in Syria,” he said.