Middle East/North Africa

Three-quarters say they’re concerned by situation in Syria: poll

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Three-quarters of respondents in a new CNN poll released Thursday say they are concerned about the ongoing situation in northeastern Syria, with many saying they fear an ISIS revival as likely following the U.S. troop withdrawal from the area.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said they are either “somewhat” or “very” concerned about the situation in Syria, while only 23 percent said they are not concerned. 

{mosads}Another 42 percent said they approve of President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops, while 50 percent disapprove, and 7 percent have no opinion. 

While 51 percent of poll respondents said the U.S. “has a responsibility to remain involved in the ongoing conflict in Syria,” partisan divides remain over how to proceed in the war-torn nation.

Seventy-two percent of Democrats say the U.S. should remain involved, while 65 percent of Republicans say the U.S. does not have a responsibility to stay in Syria.

Trump’s decision this month to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria in anticipation of a Turkish offensive sparked a firestorm in Washington, with bipartisan critics saying the retreat abandoned U.S.-aligned groups after they fought with American forces to defeat ISIS. 

Reports quickly emerged that scores of Kurds were killed in the offensive and that some ISIS prisoners were able to escape during the operation as their Kurdish captors focused on fighting Turkish forces.

Significant concerns remain among the public over a possible ISIS resurgence. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said it is either “very” or “somewhat” likely that the terrorist group will reemerge due to “the change in U.S. policy in Syria.”

Trump has defended the withdrawal, saying he campaigned on stopping “endless wars” and said Wednesday a “small number” of troops will remain in Syria. The president also announced that Ankara decided to make permanent a fragile five-day cease-fire that forced Kurds in the area to withdraw from a designated safe zone along the Turkey-Syria border. 

The CNN poll surveyed 1,003 adults from Oct. 17-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Tags CNN poll Donald Trump Syria troop withdrawal Turkey

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