MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - Over half of Britons speak in favor of Royal Air Force (RAF) airstrikes on the Islamic State (IS) militant group' positions in Iraq, while UK Parliament is expected to back this motion today, according to the new YouGov poll.
The poll shows that since August 10, just two days after US President Barack Obama sanctioned airstrikes on IS positions in Iraq, the public opinion has changed significantly, shifting from 37 percent approval to 57 percent.
The major change in opinion occurred when British hostage David Haines was named as the next victim of the terrorist group, on September 5. A video of Haines' execution was released about two weeks ago.
YouGov also found that 62 percent of British people approve of US airstrikes against militants in Syria, despite the ambiguous legality of such in the absence of a formal request from the Syrian government.
RAF Tornado jets positioned in Cyprus are ready to attack the IS targets in Iraq as soon as tonight, and are only waiting for a permission from British MPs who are currently debating whether or not the United Kingdom would take part in international airstrikes against the militant group in Iraq, already conducted by the United States and its allies.
IS militant group, also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), known for proclaiming hardline Islamic fundamentalism, has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In 2014, it seized vast areas across Iraq and Syria and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on the controlled territories, forcing thousands members of religious minorities to flee. Up to 50,000 militants are believed to be currently fighting for the IS.
In September, US President Barack Obama revealed his strategy for defeating the IS, which extended US airstrikes from Iraq to Syria. According to the plan, an international coalition to counter terrorism was formed, comprising US and several Arab countries. France has also backed the motion and targets IS positions in Iraq.