Syria

There is Little International Support for Arming Syrian Rebels

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Reason

Despite the growing evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria there is not widespread support in in Europe, Syria's neighbors, or the U.S. for arming Syrian rebels. More than 50 percent of those polled by the Pew Research Center in France, the U.K., and the U.S. oppose sending Assad's opposition weapons.

Among Syria's neighbors opposition to arming the rebels is highest in Turkey and Lebanon, while in Jordan, where support for arming Syrian rebels is the highest, just over 50 percent of those polled said they would support arming Assad's opposition. 

From the Pew Research Center:

Growing evidence that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad may have used chemical weapons against its own people has led to a crescendo of demands for the US to intervene in the Syrian civil war. But neither the American people, nor Europeans, nor Syria's neighbours wholeheartedly support such a move.

The lack of sustained public backing, both in America and in the region, is the political context in which the Obama White House will "rethink all options" - as Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel put it on Thursday.

Demands for some form of American action against Assad have intensified now that the US government has acknowledged that it too, along with the British, French and Israeli governments, thinks that chemical weapons have been employed by the regime.

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