By Ian Swanson - 08/25/13 12:06 PM EDT
Many more Americans think the country should stay out of Syria’s civil war than intervene — even if that country’s government has used chemical weapons against its citizens.
Sixty percent of Americans surveyed in a Reuters/Ipsos poll said the United States should not intervene in Syria, compared to just 9 percent that support intervention.
A similar poll on Aug. 13 found 30 percent of Americans supporting military action against Syria if chemical weapons were used.
The polls suggest broad opposition within the country to getting further involved in Syria’s conflict. Pressure on President Obama to take decisive action has grown since reports of a chemical attack this week in the suburbs of Damascus.
Obama’s security advisers met this week to discuss possible options, and Obama spoke Saturday with United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron about the situation.
Obama has been reluctant to get involved in Syria given U.S. fatigue with overseas fights in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have winded down under the president.
Yet in drawing a “red line” over the use of chemical weapons, Obama has boxed himself in on the issue. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has sternly criticized the administration’s policies, arguing it threatens U.S. credibility in the Middle East.