- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One-fifth of Syrians interviewed in a recent survey said the Islamic State militant group is a positive influence on the country and 82 percent said they believe the terrorist group was created by the U.S. and its allies.

The majority of Syrians interviewed for the survey conducted by ORB International, a U.K.-based market research firm, said they believe the situation in the country is worsening, with only 21 percent preferring their life today to when Syria was fully controlled by President Bashar al-Assad.

Nearly half of those surveyed said they opposed U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and almost 80 percent said the country’s civil war has been worsened by an influx of foreign fighters.

“This data and other qualitative insight suggest to me that some kind of concerted effort to undermine [the Islamic State] needs to gather momentum,” said Johnny Heald, managing director of ORB International.

But many Syrians have maintained a positive outlook for the future, with 64 percent saying a diplomatic solution to the war is possible and 65 percent saying Syrians will one day be able to live together again.

Researchers interviewed 1,365 Syrians from all 14 governorates of the country between June 10 and July 2. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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