Americans overwhelmingly oppose US intervention in Iraq in the face of an advance by radical Sunni Islamists that routed the Iraqi army, a Reuters-IPSOS Poll showed on Thursday.
Fifty-five percent of those polled said they were against US intervention of any kind, while only 20% supported it. There was little disparity in the overall response among Democrats, Republicans and independents.
Among those who supported some form of intervention, the most popular action was humanitarian aid for refugees from the conflict, and the second most popular was air strikes to support Iraqi government forces.
When presented with President Barack Obama's position that there would be no US military intervention unless the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government took steps toward power-sharing with Sunni and Kurdish leaders, most still opposed US engagement.
Forty-five% responded that the United States should not get involved in the conflict "no matter what," 34% said Obama was setting appropriate conditions for engagement and 21% said US involvement was needed to keep extremists from taking power.
The poll reflected predictable splits between Republicans and Democrats on ascribing blame for the Iraq crisis, in particular on the decision by Democrat Obama to pull all US forces out of the country in 2011, eight years after they were sent in by Republish President George W Bush.
Sixty-one% of Republicans said the crisis was evidence that US forces should not have left Iraq, compared with 26% of Democrats. However 74% of Democrats said it was evidence that withdrawing the forces was the right decision, compared with 39% of Republicans.
The online poll of 1,019 Americans was carried out between June 17 and 19 and had a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
For full coverage of the crisis in Iraq and the Indians stranded there, read here.