Moscow: US military and intelligence drones are flying over Syria to monitor developments in the country torn by civil strife.

"A good number of American drones are operating in the skies of Syria, monitoring the Syrian military's attacks against opposition forces and innocent civilians alike," a TV channel said.

Pentagon officials said this surveillance was not in preparation for US military intervention. The US administration hopes to use visual evidence and intercepts of Syrian government and military communications to "make the case for a widespread international response".

The US has held some discussion about possible humanitarian missions in Syria but "US officials fear that those missions could not be carried out without endangering those involved and would almost certainly draw the US into a military role in Syria", the channel said.

The UN General Assembly last week adopted a non-binding resolution condemning Syria's authorities for human rights violations and calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

 In the 193-member General Assembly, 137 countries voted for the resolution and 12 against with 17 abstentions. Russia and China voted against the resolution, which was similar to the one the two countries vetoed February 4 in the Security Council.

According to the UN, at least 5,400 people have been killed in the Syrian government's 11-month crackdown on protesters. Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs affiliated with al-Qaeda and say more than 2,000 soldiers and police have been killed.