Cut off aid if chemical weapons are used

May 08, 2013, 7:48 PM GMT+0

The vast majority of Americans say that all aid to Syrian rebels should be cut off if they use chemical weapons

Recent allegations that Syrian rebels have used chemical weapons have called into question the US aid being provided. The rebels have denied using sarin gas, with the US government saying that it is "highly likely" that the gas was used by the Assad government instead. President Obama had stated that the use of chemical weapons by Assad would be a 'red line' for greater US involvement in Syria.

The latest YouGov research shows that if Syrian rebels do use chemical weapons, 77% of Americans think that all aid should be cut off. Only 7% say that aid should continue to be given even after the use of chemical weapons. Democrats were just as likely as Republicans to support cutting off aid.

When asked whether it is ever acceptable to use chemical weapons in a war, a similarly large majority of 77% say that it is never acceptable to use chemical weapons. Only 9% believe that it could sometimes be acceptable to use chemical weapons.

Chemical weapons were first used in the First World War and were last used widely in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88. The use and manufacture of chemicals weapons was outlawed internationally in the 1990s.

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