UK

Majority Of Britons Opposed To Arming Syrian Rebels

17/06/2013 20:56 BST | Updated 17/06/2013 20:57 BST
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Syrian rebels take position in a house during clashes with regime froces in the old city of Aleppo on May 22, 2013. Syria's main opposition group opened key talks in Istanbul to debate whether to negotiate with the regime on ending the bloody two-year civil war, as proposed by the US and Russia. AFP PHOTO/RICARDO GARCIA VILANOVA (Photo credit should read Ricardo Garcia Vilanova/AFP/Getty Images)

A majority of the British public would not support moves by the Government to arm Syrian rebels opposed to Bashar Assad's regime, a poll has found.

Just 17% agreed they would support the British government if it supplied weapons to the opposition forces, with 53% disagreeing.

The ComRes poll for ITV News found 56% believed Britain should not arm the rebels because of the risk the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists, with 15% disagreeing.

Asked if they believed that providing arms to the rebels would make Britain more prone to terrorist attacks 56% agreed and 13% disagreed.

Almost half of those surveyed (48%) said the Syrian conflict was "none of our business", with 27% disagreeing.

Just 25% said they would support the use of British ground troops in Syria "if it were necessary to bring peace and stability", with 50% opposed.

The poll results come on the day that London mayor Boris Johnson warned the UK government not to arm the rebels, describing them as 'odious, hate-filled thugs'.

ComRes interviewed 2,055 British adults online from June 14-16. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all British adults.