British public call for increased UK involvement in ISIS strikes

February 08, 2015, 12:30 PM GMT+0

56% of British people would approve of increasing our commitments to air strikes on ISIS – and support for strike operations is at its highest yet

Attitudes towards the ISIS terrorist group have hardened further this week, brought on by the combination of a shocking video depicting the immolation of a downed Jordanian pilot in a cage and a scathing report by the Commons Defence Select Committee which described UK contributions to the coalition as "strikingly modest". New YouGov research reveals that most British people now favour an increased UK involvement in air strike operations against ISIS.

56% would approve of increasing our commitment to air strike operations, sending more planes and upping the number of strikes. Majorities of all political persuasions agree, while 22% overall would disapprove of heightened action and 22% are unsure.

YouGov has been tracking opinions on military involvement against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria since August 2014. 63% now support RAF air strikes in the region, the highest level of support recorded so far. A majority of British people have supported the strikes since September 5, three days after the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, the second American to have been beheaded by ISIS.

Support for Britain and the US sending ground troops back into Iraq to help fight ISIS has also reached a new high (32% compared to 20% in August), however 47% still oppose such action.

Many have been disturbed by Fox News’s decision to post the video showing the Jordanian captive’s immolation on their website. The American news outlet also showed graphic images from the video on television, while reporters recounted the events in the video while they watched it. Fox said it was carrying out its journalistic duty, arguing that readers of should have the option to see for themselves the “barbarity of ISIS”.

See the full poll results

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