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Poll: Americans want Obama to get Congress OK on Syria

7:59 AM, Aug 30, 2013   |    comments
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Nearly 80% of Americans think President Obama should seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Syria, according to a NBC News poll published on Friday.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents say they want the president to go to receive congressional approval before taking any action.

The tough poll numbers for the White House come one day after members of Obama's national security team provided 26 lawmakers with an unclassified briefing to detail some of the intelligence that they say shows regime loyalists linked to Syria President Bashar Assad was responsible for an Aug. 21 chemical attack outside Damascus that left hundreds dead.

The British Parliament also voted on Thursday to reject taking limited military action against Syria, despite the UK government releasing intelligence that shows the regime have deployed chemical weapons 15 times against the Syrian opposition.

Overall, 50% of Americans say they oppose the USA taking military action against Assad, and 42% support it, according to the new poll.

But when respondents were asked if the military action is defined to mean launching cruise missiles from naval warships - 50% favor it, while 44% oppose military action.

That figure could provide some comfort to Obama who has made clear that any potential action against Assad would be limited in scope and would not included U.S. troops on the ground.

Aides to Obama say he has not yet made a decision about taking military action in Syria.

"As we've said, President Obama's decision making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said on Thursday. "He believes that there are core interests at stake for the United States. He believes that there are core interests at stake for the United States and that countries who violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need to be held accountable."

NBC conducted its poll on Wednesday and Thursday and the poll has a ±3.70% margin of error.

USA Today

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