November 19, 2015 / 11:52 AM / 4 years ago

Two-thirds of Britons support ground war against IS - poll

LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of Britons support putting British troops on the ground to fight Islamic State following the attacks on Paris last week, according to a poll on Thursday.

A similar number also support launching air strikes on Syria, the ComRes poll for the Daily Mail showed.

The strength of public feeling against Islamic State (IS) could add weight to Prime Minster David Cameron’s campaign to extend Britain’s strikes against the militant group to Syria.

Britain, unlike allies France and the United States, only conducts air strikes on IS in Iraq, after Cameron’s plans to bomb Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were defeated in parliament in 2013.

Sixty percent of the 1,061 people questioned for the survey supported British air strikes on Syria, 59 percent supported British ground troops fighting alongside allies in a ground war against IS and 68 percent of respondents supported the United Nations sending in ground troops against the group.

But 35 percent said that a terrorist attack in Britain is more likely if Britain takes military action against Isis.

IS claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks which killed 129 people across Paris on Friday. In response France stepped up attacks on the group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

Cameron has said he will publish a “comprehensive strategy” for dealing with Islamic State, which will include bombing Syria, before the end of November.

The survey also looked at the British people’s attitude to migration and the European Union in the light of the Paris attacks.

Fifty-five percent supported refusing entry to refugees from Syria wanting to enter the UK and 79 percent supported closing borders between all European countries so that everyone would have to pass through border controls.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington; editing by Stephen Addison

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