WASHINGTON - The top US military officer said on Wednesday he has recommended bolstering Lebanese forces grappling with the fallout from Syria's civil war by sending in military trainers and accelerating arms sales.

General Martin Dempsey also said he had recommended helping Iraq better deal with the re-emergence of al-Qaida.

"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 told reporters at the Pentagon.

A spokesman said Dempsey's recommendations were made "in recent weeks" during internal discussions with the US military's Central Command, as it deliberates how to respond to the growing, regional unrest.

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