There is Little International Support for Arming Syrian Rebels



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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  1. “”””Despite the growing evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria”””

    What growing evidence, all I have heard is the usual suspects hemming and hawing about possible, might be, could be, signs point to, etc, none of which is actual evidence.

    1. And if Assad’s troops did engage in chemical warfare, what of it? How does it become our problem? Even if one accepts that war crimes, such as genocide, demand an interventionist response, it would seem that the chain of responsibility would fall first to the Arab League, then the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, after that, the Non-Aligned Movement, and finally the United Nations.

      1. The Arab League supported the military aid in Libya but not yet in Syria.

  2. Fool me once, shame on you (Arming the Mujihadeen of Afghanistan during the 70’s and 80’s); fool me twice….oh shit.

  3. File this under “no shit, Sherlock”?

  4. Does anyone else find it odd that the US government is attempting to arm Syrian citizens at the same time it is attempting to disarm US citizens? The argument that it only wants to disarm those who display criminal intent doesn’t hold any water as I am pretty sure attempting to overthrow your government* is about as criminal as it gets. Or is anyone really going to argue that its okay since they are giving the Syrians real military weapons instead of ones that merely look like military weapons? Or does it all count as stimulus spending, maybe?

    *Obviously, overthrowing your government is fine and dandy once it’s done but no government that I know of admits that overthrowing your government again is acceptable. The American colonies seceding from the British Empire was a blessed event, the Confederate states attempting to secede from the Union was pure evil.

    1. We have to refuse to arm them. If it saves just one child’s life…

      But wait, if we don’t arm them, then the pent-up demand for guns and ammo might be satisfied and bring prices down. That would be a disaster!

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