Saturday, February 18, 2012

Officials: US drones monitoring clashes in Syria

By staff, NBC News and news services

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""A good number" of unmanned U.S. military and intelligence drones are operating in the skies over Syria, monitoring the Syrian military's attacks against opposition forces and innocent civilians alike, U.S. defense officials tell NBC News' Jim Miklaszewski.

The officials said this surveillance is not in preparation for U.S. military intervention. Rather, the Obama administration hopes to use the overhead visual evidence and intercepts of Syrian government and military communications in an effort to "make the case for a widespread international response," the officials told Miklaszewski.

Unlike in Libya, there has been no widespread international support for military intervention in the country. And while there has been some discussion among White House, State Dept. and Pentagon officials about possible humanitarian missions, U.S. officials fear that those missions could not be carried out without endangering those involved and would almost certainly draw the United States into a military role in Syria."

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