Survey: Syrian opposition want 'no-fly' zone
August 17th, 2012
03:33 PM ET

Survey: Syrian opposition want 'no-fly' zone

By Jill Dougherty

Members of the Syrian opposition support international armed intervention in their country, including establishing a "no-fly" zone, humanitarian corridors and training Free Syrian Army fighters, but they do not support an international presence on the ground, a survey showed.

The survey of the Syrian opposition was conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports democracy around the world.

It is funded by the U.S. Congress, the State Department and private donations. A quarter of the respondents gave the umbrella opposition organization, the Syrian National Council (SNC), high ratings for legitimacy. But the survey also showed that the council is struggling to consolidate its appeal to a broad section of Syrians who support the opposition movement.

Asked which country treats the opposition best, the respondents cited France, Qatar and Turkey, followed by Britain, Libya, Germany, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. China, Russia and Iran were chosen as countries that treat the opposition the worst.

If an international alliance does intervene militarily in Syria, the respondents said it should be led by Turkey.

The respondents said they were 81% Sunni Arabs and 85% male, and educated. Two thirds said they had a university certificate or certificate of post graduate education.

IRI carried out the survey from June 1 to July 2 with the international survey research firm Pechter Polls of Princeton, N.J.

Because of security issues, IRI said the survey was conducted electronically and was not a random sample. Instead, it used "snowball" methodology, which the group described as "relying strictly on dissidents who were known to IRI."

Key individuals were used to initiate the referral chain, IRI said, "ultimately reaching a sample of 1,168 opposition members, approximately 315 of whom were inside Syria."

Asked to rate priorities for the opposition in a post-Assad Syria the respondents put establishing a strong judicial system and giving fair trials to suspected war criminals at the top of the list. But they also supported punishing war criminals without judicial process.

If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad eventually leaves office, 82% of Syrian respondents living outside the country said they would return at least temporarily.

The survey can be found at: http://www.iri.org/news-events-press-center/news/survey-syrian-opposition-reveals-desire-international-intervention

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Mary

    They want a no fly zone so they can finish forcing non-salafi supporters like the Christians and other minorities out of their homes and lands. They are already capturing Christians and forcing them to become muslims. Why Ms Dougherty is not reporting these atrocities and others against Christians and other minorities or she like her U.S. government supports whomever serves the interests of the U.S. administration ?

    There is already a joke (which is a reality) circling whereby a terrorist is saying that when he was fighting in Afghanistan, the U.S. was calling him a terrorist, but now he is in Syria and the U.S. is calling him a Jihad warrior.

    This is really what the U.S. is doing and those who are sheep like are only going baaaaa baaaaaa

    August 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  2. gjlkhfgj

    if scott taylor and his anti american coalition does not shut up there will be no secrets

    August 20, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
  3. TrueGrissel

    I say hell no. If the terrorists lay down their arms then the killing will stop, if not then deal with death, kill them all Assad.!!!

    August 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  4. Brad

    I find it very very interesting that 2/3 of the opposistion have college degrees. I suppose that completley destroys the myth that well to do Sunnis were ok with Assad's status quo.

    August 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  5. PRESSTV.IR

    BECAUSE THE RATS OF QATAR AND SAUDI ARABIA ARE FAILING IN SYRIA, THEY ARE NOW BEGGING FOR A NO FLY ZONE, JUST LIKE THE RATS IN LIBYA DID. YOU IDIOTS CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THESE RATS HAVE SUPPORT IN SYRIA.

    I URGE RUSSIA AND IRAN TO HELP ASSAD CRUSH THESE ARMED RATS!

    August 18, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  6. jack hayden

    **TO BE POSTED SOON ON YOUTUBE & HAND DELIVERED TO THE RUSSIAN CONSULATE IN MONTREAL EARLY NEXT WEEK

    Dear President Al-Assad:

    It has been over 6 months since I first wrote to you, but you still continue to kill your fellow Syrians.

    This time you are using tanks, airplanes and artillery to injure, maim and kill innocent people and obliterate buildings of Syria’s largest cities.

    FOR WHAT REASON??

    The Syrian people just want basic things in life:
    • To live in Peace
    • To live without Fear
    • To be able to express their opinions and feelings

    There are now:
    • Over 20,000 dead
    • Over 150,000 refugees who have left Syria
    • Over 1,000,000 displaced citizens

    WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS TO YOUR OWN PEOPLE??

    Look around, people who were once with you are leaving you because they know eventually you will lose and have to leave.

    Leave NOW before more Syrians suffer needlessly due to your actions.

    Sincerely,

    Jack
    Citizen of the World

    August 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • pogo the clown

      Well, ain't yew jes th' sweetest lil' attention wh0re.....

      August 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  7. Andrey

    They want "no fly zone" like in Libya? You must be kidding! What a surprise!

    August 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  8. saeed

    what russia should do is send a couple of 170m long borei class submarines to usa pacific and the northern sea outside england and nuke usa britain ireland norway denmark sweden australia and new zealand back to stoneage usa and britain thinks russia is only talking russia should make its talk into action.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • Andrey

      Keep it cool saeed: that is not the Russian way. Russian people will just stand by and watch... Let US and their allies bring their own ruin on themselves. They are very good at it!

      August 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply

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