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U.S. General: Iraq Needs 80,000 'Competent' Troops To Retake Lost Land

The top U.S. general says Iraq will need some 80,000 effective troops to retake the ground it lost to Islamic State (IS) militants and restore its border with Syria.

Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional hearing on November 13, "We're going to need about 80,000 competent Iraqi security forces to recapture territory lost, and eventually the city of Mosul."

Dempsey said the United States would consider dispatching a modest number of U.S. forces to fight with Iraqi troops as they engage in more difficult operations against IS.

President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of U.S. advisory teams and trainers to bolster Iraqi forces across the country.

There are currently about 1,400 U.S. personnel in Iraq.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP