US Military, Spy Drones Flying Over Syria

Officials Say Overt Violation of Syrian Airspace Not a Prelude to War

In Pakistan’s tribal areas, the sight of US drones flying overhead has been an ongoing source of anger, with Pakistan’s central government insisting they never authorized them. Recently in Iraq, the US has come under criticism for using the existence of an embassy to justify nationwide drone surveillance.

Now, attention has turned to Syria, where US officials admit that military and spy drones are operating in Syrian airspace, presumably without Assad government permission, and with not even an embassy as a pretext.

Officials say that the drones are being used to gather evidence to “make the case for a widespread international response” against the Assad government. So far that effort seems to be going very poorly for them, as the UN Security Council resolution was vetoed by Russia, and the Arab League’s calls for invasion are unlikely to even secure a vote at all.

The drones appear to be exclusively surveillance drones, not attack drones, and US officials say that the violation of Syrian air space is not a prelude to a US attack on Syria. It’s just the sort of surveillance that’s become “normal” for the US.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of