1. National

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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  1. John Irvine

Can broken Iraq be put back together again?

Islamic State militants might have suffered a temporary setback in Iraq, but solving the troubled country's problems will be a far bigger challenge. By Senior International Correspondent John Irvine in Irbil.

Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq wave their flag

While the humanitarian crisis affecting the poor people on and around Mount Sinjar persists, the sense of crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan has eased somewhat thanks to today's victory, and perhaps a little breathing space has been created.

The Americans have made clear they do not think the answer to Islamic State is laser-guided bombs ahead of a Kurdish advance. Rather, they want all Iraqis to reject the Islamists.

But the truth of the matter is that Iraqi Sunnis prefer Islamic State to the government in Baghdad and creating a more inclusive government in Baghdad is an excruciatingly slow process.

It is no wonder President Obama says that rolling back the militants and putting Iraq back together again is a project that may take years - if it is possible at all.

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