Members of the Iraqi Emergency Response Brigade hold a position behind a wall in the western city of Ramadi where government forces are fighting against anti-government militants. (Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the crisis in Iraq, according to a new poll.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 52 percent of all Americans oppose the commander in chief’s response to recent gains made by a Sunni extremist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The poll found the same percentage of registered voters also disapprove of Obama’s handling of the situation in Iraq.
In a reflection of the country’s hyper-partisanship, the poll shows Democrats and Republicans are sharply split over the matter.
Seventy-two percent of those identifying themselves as Democrats approve of Obama’s handling of the crisis, with 84 percent of Republicans voicing opposition. Only 13 percent of Republicans approve.
Notably, 40 percent of independents are supportive of the president’s approach, with 54 percent saying they disapprove.
The poll was released just hours after the besieged Iraqi government, which is clinging to power as ISIL moves closer to Baghdad, granted legal immunity to US forces after requesting help from the Obama administration.
Last week, the administration announced it would send 300 military “advisers” back to Iraq to help indigenous troops there ward off ISIL forces. ■