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Report: US drones monitoring clashes in Syria

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February 18, 2012

A “good number” of unmanned US military drones are operating in the skies over Syria to monitor President Bashar Assad’s military’s crackdown against the opposition, American defense officials told NBC News.

In comments published on Saturday, the officials said this surveillance is not in preparation for US military intervention. Rather, the officials told NBC News, 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.”

According to NBC News, while there has been some discussion among White House, State Department and Pentagon officials about possible humanitarian missions to Syria, US 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.

On Thursday the 193-nation UN General Assembly ratcheted up the pressure on Assad by overwhelmingly approving a resolution that endorses an Arab League plan calling for him to step aside.

Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that called to remove Assad from power.

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This article was posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 5:39 am

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