Poll Says 54% of French Favor Assad Alliance to Combat Isis

A small majority of the French would support an alliance with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to combat Islamic State, according to a poll.

Fifty-four percent of respondents were either “totally” or “somewhat” favorable to an alliance with Assad, while 45 percent were opposed, according to an Elabe poll for BFM television.

The French government has ruled out any political solution in Syria that involves Assad staying in power, saying he is responsible for the vast majority of the civilian deaths in the country’s four-year-old civil war.

Support for France’s involvement in the international air campaign against Islamic State is broader. The poll showed 67 percent in favor of President Francois Hollande’s decision to extend air strikes against Islamic State to Syria. Thirty-two percent were opposed.

French planes, which have been striking Islamic State targets in Iraq for a year, last weekend carried out their first attacks in Syria, destroying a training camp in the east of the country.

The online poll of 1,002 people was conducted on Sept. 29 and 30. No margin of error was given.