19:11 GMT28 May 2020
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    According to CIA Deputy Director David Cohen, the US needs to recruit additional spies to compensate for the lack of US ground troops in Syria.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is gaining better intelligence on the terrorist group Daesh, also known as the Islamic State (IS), but needs to recruit additional spies using basic espionage tradecraft to compensate for the lack of US ground troops in Syria, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Deputy Director David Cohen said told a news outlet on Monday.

    "Collecting intel in a war zone where we have no or very few troops," is a challenge, Cohen told WTOP news radio. "So the objective becomes classic, tradecraft training of trusted agents that have access to the area and information."

    Cohen added that human intelligence already "is getting better as ISIL [Daesh] gets ever more paranoid and shrinks into a defensive crouch."

    The only way to get rid of Daesh (Islamic State) in Libya is to support locals fighting against the terrorist organization on the ground, Jason Pack, a scholar who specializes in Libyan affairs, told Radio Sputnik.
    © REUTERS / U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/Handout
    "Their claim to be a state that’s run openly means they are vulnerable to traditional espionage. They can’t be a clandestine caliphate, and so a lot of their stuff is open to collection," he explained in the interview with Washington, DC’s leading radio news outlet.

    Cohen also discussed the complex security environment confronting Washington, apart from the air campaign against Daesh and the group’s push to launch terrorist attacks in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

    "One of the realities of the time we live in is that it’s a very complex world and there are a number of urgent challenges," Cohen stated.

    The CIA Deputy Director also listed additional threats to US interests and its allies, including Russia’s continuing involvement in Ukraine, Chinese militarization of the South China Sea and North Korea’s development of missiles and nuclear weapons.

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    Tags:
    spies, Daesh, David Cohen, Syria, United States
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