US journalist released from Syria 'overwhelmed with emotion'

A US journalist released earlier this week after almost two years of imprisonment in Syria said he was "overwhelmed with emotion" because of the attention he has received upon returning home.

Peter Theo Curtis, 45, was captured in 2012 by Nusra Front and was only released on Sunday.

He said: "I suddenly remember how good the American people are, and what kindness they have in their hearts."

Meanwhile, Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, who is suspected of fighting with Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, has been killed in the Middle East, a US security official has said.

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US approves aid drops for stranded refugees in Iraq

The US will soon begin dropping air drops of humanitarian supplies in northern Iraq to aid 40,000 religious minorities fleeing the Islamist militants surging across the country.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect take refuge in Dohuk province. Credit: Reuters

A senior US official told Reuters the military air drops could begin at any time with thousands taking refuge up Mount Sinjar.

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said President Barack Obama was also considering carrying out airstrikes on the militants - the first such action since the US pulled troops out of Iraq in 2011.

US government sources said the US will fly surveillance drones out of the Kurdish capital Arbil to assess both the Islamic State threat and the capability of Iraqi and Kurdish forces to combat it.

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