One in five Syrians believes that ISIS’s influence in Syria has been either “somewhat positive” or “completely positive,” an ORB International and IIACSS poll found.
“Thinking about the persons and the groups which are working now in Syria, Generally, do you think that their influence is negative or positive on the matters in Syria?” the pollsters asked.
Seven percent of the Syrians interviewed replied that ISIS’s influence has been completely positive. Fourteen percent said its influence has been somewhat positive. Unsurprisingly, the ISIS supporters came primarily from regions under its control.
An overwhelming 76-percent majority said ISIS has had a negative influence on the country.
The polling firms gathered the data from June 10 to July 2, well before the Islamist group claimed credit for the recent bombing of a Russian airliner and a series of deadly attacks in Paris, but well after ISIS jihadists carried out numerous other well-known atrocities.
The research survey, released in mid-September, also found that 21 percent of Syrians polled prefer life now, during the civil war during which ISIS has gained power, as opposed to what it was under the total control of Bashar al-Assad.
On the other hand, 40 percent said they preferred life before the crisis, while 35 percent replied “neither.”
Additionally, 35 percent of Syrians believe al Nusra, al-Qaida’s Syria affiliate, is a positive influence, while an overwhelming majority of Syrians — 81 percent — think that ISIS is an American-made or foreign-made group.
“When you have one out of every five Syrians polled supporting ISIS, Al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra) has favorable ratings approaching levels of support that Obama has inside the U.S., and more than 80 percent of Syrians believe that ISIS is the creation of the U.S., it should raise serious concerns for every country looking at the refugee crisis and wonder who they are bringing in,” counter terrorism expert Patrick Poole told The Daily Caller in an email.
“When you see that a majority of Syrians oppose coalition airstrikes, and that the U.S-backed Syrian opposition has a negative rating of 72 percent, one can safely conclude that the Obama administration’s policies are a complete failure in the eyes of the Syrian people,” Poole explained.
He added, “And this was supposed to be the administration that purportedly was going to improve the standing of American in the Arab world.”
Half of respondents say Assad has had a net negative influence on the country, while 47 percent say the president has had a positive influence. Syrians were similarly split on whether they support or oppose international coalition airstrikes.
ORB International, a UK-based polling firm, and IIACSS, a Baghdad-based marketing research company, say they interviewed a “nationally representative sample of 1365 adults across all 14 governorates throughout Syria — including those under the control of ISIL in Raqaa, DerZor and Hasakeh.”
ORB has been conducting polling in “fragile and conflict states regularly since 2004,” including in Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Mali.
Read the data here: