WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. officials say Russia has begun flying drone surveillance flights over Syria. Officials say the Russians are gathering intelligence in preparation for what most expect will be the launch of fighter aircraft in the coming days.
The officials say that so far there have been no problems or conflicts with the U.S. and coalition fighter aircraft that continue to bomb Islamic State militants there. They say the Russian drone seen flying Wednesday was a small, unarmed aircraft.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
Russia has been building up its military presence in Syria, including tanks, helicopters, surface-to-air missiles, personnel and other equipment. The U.S. says it still is trying to figure out Russia's intentions.