Confusion as to which countries the USA is bombing

September 04, 2014, 5:25 PM GMT+0

There is a great deal of confusion as to where, exactly, the US is conducting air and drone strikes, though the public does tend to support ongoing campaigns

On Tuesday this week the Pentagon revealed that it had launched air and drone strikes aimed at killing the head of the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab, Ahmed Abdi Godane. While it is still unclear whether the operation was successful, it does not mark a major shift in US policy, which has seen the US launch attacks on al-Shabaab in Somalia before. US military action in Somalia is ongoing alongside the the US presence in Afghanistan, the continued drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan and the recent decision to begin bombing ISIS militants in Iraq.

YouGov's latest research shows that many Americans are confused about where, exactly, the US is bombing. Most Americans are aware of the ongoing campaign in Iraq, and people tend to be aware of the strikes in Afghanistan. Less than a quarter of the public are aware that the US has recently launched strikes in Somalia, Pakistan or Yemen. 30% also say, incorrectly, that the US has recently conducted bombings in Syria and only 32% of Americans know that the US has not in fact launched air or drone strikes in Syria.

Most Americans support conducting air or drone strikes in Iraq (60%), Afghanistan (54%) and Syria (51%). They also tend to support the ongoing drone campaigns in Somalia (45%), Pakistan (45%) and Yemen (38%). They would also tend to approve (38%) rather than disapprove (33%) of conducting drone strikes in Iran. 29% of Americans say that they would approve of the US bombing Gaza and Ukraine.

The most recent use of US force in Iraq saw American firepower used to assist Iraqi, Kurdish and Shia forces in their offensive against ISIS to lift the siege of Amerli, a town populated by minority Turkmen.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: PA