WASHINGTON, D. C. -- After French President Francois Hollande in an interview Tuesday hinted at an openness to military intervention in Syria, the question of whether NATO should intervene in the violence-rattled country has again come to the forefront. While distinct differences exist between the conflicts in Libya and Syria, Gallup data from 2012 show pluralities in the Arab world opposed NATO's intervention in Libya in 2011, suggesting that similar moves in Syria could meet with considerable disapproval in the region.
The NATO-led air campaign against Libyan government forces, which began in March 2011, ended seven months later in a decisive victory for NATO and Libyan rebel groups. The overthrow of the 42-year-old regime represented the third North African government to fall in 2011 amid the uprisings in the Arab world and was the first in the region to receive military support from Western nations.
At least a plurality in all nine Arab countries surveyed and the region of Somaliland opposed NATO intervention in Libya. Residents in several North African countries, including Morocco (12%), Egypt (13%), and Algeria (14%) were the least likely to say they were in favor of NATO intervention. In Tunisia, where the region's first successful revolution was publicly denounced by the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, attitudes were significantly more mixed (33% in favor vs. 40% opposed).
For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.
Results are based on face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults per country, aged 15 and older, conducted from February-April 2012. For results based on the total samples, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from ±3.3 percentage points to ±3.7 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.