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Brits would support action in Syria to help refugees: Poll claims

A new poll suggests Britons would support military action in Syria against ISIS to help quell the refugee crisis

Published: Updated:

Britons have called on Prime Minister David Cameron to take decisive military action in Syria against ISIS militants in a bid to end the refugee crisis, according to a survey carried out for British tabloid newspaper The Sunday Sun.

According to the report, the poll - carried out on behalf of the newspaper - found 52 percent of those questioned support the UK sending military to end the four-year war.

The findings are in contrast to claims that the British public are ‘war-weary’ the report claims, but instead, support a need to end the fighting in Syria, in order to make Europe safe and end the mass exodus of refugees into the continent.

The news came as Cameron revealed that drones had been used by the country’s Royal Air Force to kill British members of ISIS last month, after intelligence reports that the country was at risk of terror attacks.

Meanwhile the British PM also announced at the weekend that he was prepared to allow as many as 15,000 people into the UK as migrants.

Apparently 10,000 refugees being granted entry into the UK is now “the minimum, not the maximum,” the report added citing a senior government official.

Cameron is likely to ask the government as early as next month to support plans to extend existing bombing raids against ISIS over Iraq into Syria, the report added.

This will be the second time he has Parliament for its backing for such raids.

In 2013 he suffered a humiliating defeat when he asked the government for support in taking action against the Assad regime.

The vote followed a poisonous gas attacks that killed thousands of men, women and children in August the same year.

Back then Cameron said Parliament had made its views clear and that the UK would not join the U.S. and France in military action.

“IS is killing civilians and forcing millions to flee. We’re already helping to fight them in Iraq but they need to be beaten in Syria too,” UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told the newspaper, referring to ISIS using a different acronym.

Like many other Western countries, the British government, press and possibly even public, appeared to perform a U-turn on the issue of the refugee crisis when the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi was washed ashore onto a Turkish beach – his family having previously fled Syria.

It is feared that a second vote on extending military action to Syria, this time in the fight against ISIS could be scuppered if leftwing MP Jeremy Corbyn wins the opposition Labour Party leadership election.

Corbyn has already said he opposes any further military action in the Middle East, claiming that it would be ineffective.

But UK-based member of the Syrian opposition and activist, Ghassan Ibrahim told Al Arabiya that he believes the situation in Syria with ISIS, and abroad with the refugee crisis would have been different had the international community taken action earlier.

Ghassan explained: “If the international community - the U.S., France and the UK - taken action in 2013 I think yes, there would have been a difference made. At least to encourage the Syrian opposition to take over or to manage the country better now, rather than as we now see it today with ISIS expanding and Syrians forced to flee.”

A military response at the time in 2013, he said, “would have stopped ISIS and there would not have been the refugee crisis there is now.”