Gallup: Americans split on U.S. striking Syria

Gallup: Americans split on U.S. striking Syria

April 24 (UPI) — A new survey Tuesday said 50 percent of Americans approve of President Donald Trump’s airstrikes against Syria this month, and slightly fewer are opposed.

The Gallup poll asked respondents about the U.S. military strikes earlier this month, when naval ships fired dozens of missiles on sites in Syria. The strikes were a response to a suspected chemical attack in Douma this month.

Gallup said 43 percent said they disapprove of the strikes, and 7 percent gave no opinion.

Public approval for the strikes matches a similar poll a year ago, taken after Trump struck a Syrian airfield related to another suspected chemical attack, Gallup said.

American support for the military intervention is relatively low compared to the 90 percent who approved the Afghan war in 2001 following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

More Republicans (80 percent) than Democrats (36 percent) said they support the military action. That number was 45 percent among independents.

The survey questioned more than 1,500 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of 3 points.

The poll comes as the United Nations and European Union begin a two-day conference Tuesday in Belgium to raise funds for humanitarian aid in Syria, while gathering political support for a U.N.-led peace process.

“We would like to use the Brussels conference to send a clear message from the international community that the fighting has to stop and that the political process has to start,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said.

The fight against the Islamic State in Syria and its brutal civil war has left schools, hospitals and other infrastructure destroyed.

According to the EU, more than 13 million Syrians are in need of assistance, and more than 5 million refugees are displaced outside the country.