More than half of British public support RAF involvement in Iraq
Opinium/Observer poll shows more backing for direct involvement in air attacks than for arming western allies on the ground.
Over half of the British public 51% would support the involvement of the RAF in air strikes against the Islamic State (Isis) in support of the Iraqi army and Kurdish militia. An Opinium/Observer poll shows greater support for direct involvement, albeit without troops on the ground, than for arming western allies on the ground.
Only 45% of those polled were in favour of providing weapons and military supplies to the Iraqi army, perhaps reflecting a lack of confidence that the arms wouldn’t end up in Isis control.
When Mosul, in north Iraq, fell to IS in June, roughly 30,000 Iraqi soldiers abandoned their bases, leaving behind a massive cache of US-supplied armoured vehicles and heavy weaponry.
There is, however, overwhelming support for the British government’s humanitarian aid programme, with 85% saying that they are in favour of aid drops. Just 28% support sending troops to support the Iraqis and Kurds, while 56% oppose this.
• Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 1,963 GB adults aged 18+ from 12th to 15th August 2014. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. Full tables and results are available here.