The poll was carried out by Opinion Research Business in July.
As ever, caveats should apply to the results. About the difficulties of accurate polling in war zones and authoritarian states. About the inability of opinion polls to capture nuance. And about the often rapidly changing views of the public depending on developments on the ground.
But here are some of the results nonetheless.
49% of Syrians oppose or strongly oppose coalition airstrikes in Syria, compared to 48% who strongly support or support them
Interesting if only because one pro-Syrian intervention argument is that Syrians themselves want it. And while some clearly do, slightly more don’t.
– 49% of Syrians think Bashar al Assad has a completely or somewhat negative influence in Syria, compared to 47% who think he has a somewhat or completely positive influence.
– 72% of Syrians think the Syrian opposition coalition has a completely or somewhat negative influence in Syria, compared to 26% who think they have a somewhat or completely positive influence.
– 76% of Syrians think ISIS have a completely or somewhat negative influence in Syria, compared to 21% who think they have a somewhat or completely positive influence.
– 63% of Syrians think the Free Syrian Army have a completely or somewhat negative influence in Syria, compared to 36% who think they have a somewhat or completely positive influence.
Another interesting one that challenges pro-intervention narratives. According to this, more Syrians think Assad has a positive influence on Syria than they think the Free Syrian Army or the political opposition have a positive influence.
This undermines the simplistic notion that what is unfolding in Syria is essentially a struggle between a widely hated dictator, and a military and political opposition with mass popular appeal. The poll suggests that this is not necessarily the case at all (and for what it’s worth, respected analysts like Nir Rosen have previously published research suggesting similar).
– 51% of Syrians think a political solution is the best way of resolving the crisis in Syria, compared to only 37% who think a military solution is
Once again, this runs contrary to the standard pro-intervention narrative, which says there is no hope of a political solution, and therefore a military solution is required. A majority of people actually living in Syria would appear to disagree with that.
65% also think it is highly or very likely that Syrians can put aside their differences and live together, and 70% oppose the division of the country.
– 82% of Syrians agree or somewhat agree that ISIS is a creation of the U.S., compared to only 41% who agree or somewhat agree that ISIS is a creation of the Syrian regime
This is where we’re supposed to roll our eyes and go ‘Those Arabs and their conspiracy theories. They blame the West for everything!’.
But it’s worth noting that this conflict has been marked by the willingness of corporate media and mainstream analysts, who ordinarily treat inside job/false flag theories with sneering contempt, to take them seriously.
But when it’s the U.S. being accused by a substantial majority of Syrians? Why, they must be insane!
My view on military intervention in Syria, and on the question of military intervention in general, has always been that you have to come to your own conclusions about the moral and political desirability of it. If a majority of Syrians support it, that doesn’t mean I have to. If a majority of Syrians oppose it, that doesn’t mean I have to.
But the views of the people in the targeted country do have to be given strong consideration, whether they chime with your own or not.
And this poll at least suggests that Syrians themselves aren’t quite as sold on the merits of military intervention as their would-be saviours are.