U.S. military trainers may be sent to Lebanon, Iraq

June 27, 2013 at 1:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 27 (UPI) -- Gen. Martin Dempsey says the Pentagon recommends planning to send U.S. military trainers to help Lebanon and Iraq deal with fallout from the fighting in Syria.

Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday small units of military trainers may be sent to Syrian neighbors in the near future, NBC News reported.

The network said the Obama administration also is discussing the possibility of fast-tracking arms sales to Jordan and Turkey, as well as Lebanon and Iraq, to beef up their defenses to deal with the border threat from Syria.

"We've made a recommendation that, as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging al-Qaida in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability," Dempsey said.

"Militarily, what we're doing is assisting our partners in the region, the neighbors of Syria, to ensure that they're prepared to account for the potential spillover effects."

NBC said a senior defense official stressed the recommendations were made "in recent weeks" and he was unaware of any small teams of U.S. military trainers in Lebanon or Iraq now dealing with the Syrian issue.

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