8 in 10 Brits support arming rebels in Syria, says poll

London, June 2 (ANI): Eight in ten people in Britain believe that the government must facilitate the rebels with arms, a new survey has revealed.

The poll results have come amid Britain's support for lifting the arm ban on Syrian regime, the Guardian reports.

According to the report, while only 24 percent have supported giving weapons or arms to the military forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's army, 58 percent of the public were in favour of offering humanitarian aid.

The European Union lifted its arms embargo on Syria last week as British foreign secretary, William Hague claimed that the policy was denying rebels the right to defend themselves when they were 'having every weapon dropped on them'.

While a number of European states continued to oppose lifting the embargo, Britain insisted that it should be allowed to expire.

The report said that 78 percent of people who voted said that they believe the UK is too overstretched as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan to intervene in a new conflict. Nearly 72 percent believe that the UK can no longer afford to act as a major military power. More than two thirds 69 percent believe that the UK should restrict the military to protecting UK territory and providing humanitarian aid in times of crisis.

Many respondents disapproved of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts with around 60 percent opposing the interventions.

United Nations said that over 1000 people were killed in Iraq in May which is the highest monthly death toll for years.

Britain and France believe that the situation in Syria is growing worse daily and that arming the rebels will make it less likely that international jihadists will take over the revolution. However, a group of five European states, and many British MPs from both sides of the Commons, fear that arming the rebels will boost jihadists.

Meanwhile, the US and Germany have urged Russia not to supply Syria's military with an advanced missile system after Assad confirmed that Russia's S-300 air missile defence system has reached Syria. (ANI)

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