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Majority of Britons oppose bombing IS in Iraq, Syria
Tuesday September 2, 2014 8:16 PM, IANS

Barely one in three people in Britain support launching military action against Sunni militant organisation Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria at a time when the British prime minister has not ruled out supporting the US for it.

According to a survey for The Independent, only one in three people supporting Britain launching air strikes against IS (also called ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.

David Cameron Monday left the door open to Britain joining the US, which has already bombed IS targets in Iraq. But the ComRes poll found that the British prime minister would face strong public opposition if he decided to join the US bombing campaign.

Only 35 percent of people agree that Britain should take part in air strikes, while 50 per cent disagree and 15 per cent are "don’t knows”. Men (42 percent) are much more likely to support air strikes than women (28 percent).

There is even stronger opposition to sending ground forces, which Cameron has ruled out.

Only 20 percent of the public agrees to see Britain sending armed forces on the ground, and 69 percent disagreeing.

Though no formal request for British air strikes has been received, the US administration is informally sounding out potential allies, including Britain for an international effort.

Cameron said Britain should continually ask itself what is in the national interest and how it could best help the people on the ground opposing IS.

Indicating the ill-fated US-Britain invasion of Iraq in 2003 should not be a bar to air strikes, the prime minister said: “We must learn the lessons of the past, but we must not be imprisoned by decisions taken in the past… I don’t rule anything out, I don’t think we should.”

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