Background

On the 21st of August 2013, chemical weapons attack occurred in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria. Death reports vary, while US claims that more than 1400 people died so far. Syrian government armed forces deny any responsibility regarding the attacks and blame opposition groups. An independent investigation report by Human Rights Watch issued on the 10th of September claims that evidence imply that Syrian government was behind the attack.  However, no sufficient evidence has been provided so far on who has actually performed this attack.

Russia, Syria and Iran stated that they believe the opposition groups were responsible for the attacks while western countries and US blame Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.  A public debate has been raised in most of these countries regarding their governments’ support or involvement on possible strikes against Assad regime. British parliament rejected a proposal for military intervention in Syria while French parliament seems to be split and the government reassures that any act will be part of an international collective. German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially stated that Germany will not take part to any military intervention in Syria, but agrees that chemical weapons attacks should not go without any response. President Obama and the White House are pushing their air strikes plan as a response to the chemical weapons attack. However, a Russian last-minute plan that has been proposed seems to change the current scene, at least for the moment. The Russian plan proposed that chemical weapons in Syria should be placed under international control. Syrian officials have already agreed to this plan, making US and its allies to postpone plans temporarily and consider a diplomatic approach.

Purpose of survey

Syria Attack survey aims to unveil citizens’ opinion in four different countries (US, UK , France and Germany) that their governments play a strategic role regarding any possible military intervention in Syria. Who was behind the chemical weapons attack? Do people think that US and its allies should strike against Syria as a response to the attack? What are their concerns regarding Syria war? Find the answers to all these questions in Pollfish Syria Attack survey findings!

Key Results

29% of overall respondents believe that Assad regime was behind the chemical attacks in Ghouta, while 22% blame the rebels! 38% state that US and its allies should not strike against the Assad regime as a respond to the attacks while 32% support such form of action. However, 32% of those that believe Syrian government was behind the attacks still believe that US and allies should not strike cause they fear a larger regional conflict. 44% believe that a US strike against the Assad regime will eventually lead to a deployment of US troops on the ground. Syria Attack survey revealed also that one of the major concerns regarding the war in Syria and strikes against the Assad regime is a possible larger regional conflict involving Iran and the West. Finally, almost 4 out of 10 don’t support any military action that will involve western troops on the ground in Syria.

Deeper Insights

Now let’s have a deeper look on the survey findings based also on the country of each respondent!

1. Who do you believe was behind the chemical attack in Syria? French people blame the rebels!

29% of the overall respondents believe that Assad regime was behind the chemical attacks in Ghouta, while 22% blame the rebels! But what are the citizens of US, UK, France and Germany think on a country level?

US

a) 27% – The Assad regime

b) 19% – The Rebels

c) 54% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

UK

a) 24% – The Assad regime

b) 11% – The Rebels

c) 65% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

Germany

a) 35% – The Assad regime

b) 20% – The Rebels

c) 45% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

France

a) 26% – The Assad regime

b) 31% – The Rebels

c) 43% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

As we can conclude from the results US, UK and Germany citizens are more convinced that Assad regime was behind the attacks while 31% of French respondents blame the Rebels! This is a quite interest finding if we consider that French President Francois Hollande stated that France is preparing to take action in Syria along with the US even without British involvement based on evidence regarding chemical attacks collected so far.

2. Do you think the US and its allies should strike against the Assad regime? US citizens say NO!

38% state that US and its allies should not strike against the Assad regime as a respond to the attacks while 32% support such form of action. But which county’s citizens strongly disagree with this action?

US

a) 25% – Yes

b) 41% – No

c) 34% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

UK

a) 30% – Yes

b) 29% – No

c) 41% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

Germany

a) 32% – Yes

b) 31% – No

c) 37% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

France

a) 42% – Yes

b) 15% – No

c) 43% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

Here we can see some contradicting results. The majority of French respondents believe that the Rebels are behind the chemical attacks, however 42% of them would like to see strikes against the Assad regime. On the other hand, US respondents answered a clear NO to a possible strike, even if their government is willing to take action even without the support of allies.

3. Would you support military action that involved western troops on the ground in Syria? Respondents from all countries are against!

37% don’t support any military action that will involve western troops on the ground in Syria while only 25% agree with such action. Do respondents differentiate on a country level from the general findings? The answer is no!

US

a) 25% – Yes

b) 37% – No

c) 38% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

UK

a) 18% – Yes

b) 35% – No

c) 47% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

Germany

a) 20% – Yes

b) 41% – No

c) 39% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

France

a) 15% – Yes

b) 45% – No

c) 40% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer

4. Overall what is your most important concern about the war in Syria? People fear the most a larger regional conflict in the area.

The war in Syria and the possibility of a military intervention raise many concerns around the world. Which are the most important concerns of all? What do people fear the most?

a) 11.3% – The refugee crisis

b)   6.7% – The Assad regime being ousted

c)   6.6% – The instability of the Rebels
d) 13.6% – The Presence of stocks of chemical weapons.
e) 25.1% – The possibility of a larger regional conflict involving Iran and the West.
f) 36.7% – Don’t no / Prefer not to answer
As we can see from survey findings people concern the most about a possible larger regional conflict in the area and the refugee crisis that will follow.

Conclusions

Syria Attack survey revealed people concerns regarding possible strikes in Syria by the US and allies. US citizens seem to be against a military intervention while French people seem to agree with that. The majority of the respondents do not support any military action that will involve troops on the ground however they believe that this will be the eventual result of a strike against the Assad regime. Finally, survey findings revealed major concerns for a larger regional conflict in the area and the refugee crisis that will follow.

Survey Audience

Syria Attack survey was conducted among 1483 randomly selected users from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany between 5th-10th of September 2013.