Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels needed to retake eastern Syria - U.S. military

September 26, 2014 11:59 PM

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Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels needed to retake eastern Syria - U.S. military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Western-backed opposition force of around 12,000 to 15,000 will be needed to retake areas of eastern Syria controlled by Islamic State militants, the top U.S military officer said on Friday, as the Pentagon outlined the first steps in a U.S.-led training program that could run several years.

The Pentagon said its assessment teams have already arrived in Saudi Arabia to help map out a U.S.-led program there expected to train more than 5,000 Western-backed opposition fighters in the first year.

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