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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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Obama: Chilling reports of mass executions in Iraq

"Chilling reports" of mass executions and the enslaving of women have been heard in Iraq, President Obama said as he announced "targeted air strikes" against Islamist militants.

President Obama announcing 'targeted air strikes' against Islamist fighters in Iraq. Credit: Reuters

"Chilling reports describe IS' militants rounding up families, conducting mass executions and enslaving Yezidi women," Mr Obama said.

“In recent days Yezidi women, men and children from the region of Sinjar have fled for their lives.

"Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands are now hiding high up the mountain with little but the clothes on their backs, they are without food, they are without water.

"People are starving, children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile Isis forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the Yeziddi people, which would constitute genocide.”

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