November 13, 2014 / 3:48 PM / 3 years ago

Iraq needs 80,000 good troops to retake lost territory: U.S. general

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel listens during his testimony at the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, November 13, 2014.Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq will need about 80,000 effective military troops to retake the terrain it lost to Islamic State militants and restore its border with Syria, the top U.S. general said on Thursday.

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

Dempsey said the request for more U.S. forces in Iraq would create centers to help train the additional troops needed.

Reporting by David Alexander and Phil Stewart; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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