Wall Street Journal: U.S. Spying on Syria Yields Bonus: Intelligence on Islamic State

Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes of The Wall Street Journal report on recent intelligence gathered in Syria:

WASHINGTON—With a limited ability to gather intelligence in Syria, U.S. spies have been tapping an unlikely source for information on Islamic State militants: the communications of President Bashar al-Assad ’s regime.

The U.S. initially set up its spy infrastructure to monitor the regime, but it is also yielding unexpected intelligence over the Sunni jihadists that has helped guide American military operations in Syria and Iraq, current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the operations said.

“We still have very little human intelligence on the ground in Syria,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee, adding that the challenge with intercepts is that it’s difficult to confirm the information.

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By:  Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes
Source: Wall Street Journal