Just to bring attention to Alex Carlill’s comment below my original post. A snippet:
[T]he use of drones for surveillance doesn’t even need to be “examined”, it simply wouldn’t happen. according to US protocols, drones are only used when airspace has been deemed safe by other platforms; they’re not used in military-contested areas – which is why, in Libya, drones were only deployed after several months of strikes by manned aircraft. thanks in part to its purchases from Russia, the Assad regime far has more sophisticated anti-air capability than Gaddafi did, which means that significant intervention – likely even on the ground – would be necessary before aircraft, manned or otherwise, could operate in Syrian airspace w/ the same relative impunity they did over Libya.