The US is flying its spy drones over Syria to monitor the government’s crackdown on its opponents, according to NBC News, which cited unnamed US defense officials as saying “a good number” of the unmanned military and intelligence planes were operating in Syrian skies.

Those officials told NBC correspondent Jim Miklaszewski that the drones are not collecting information to be used in future 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.”

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