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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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Air strikes in Iraq 'have been very effective'

Air strikes in Iraq "have been very effective" according to the US secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel.

Chuck Hagel said air strikes in Iraq have been "very effective." Credit: Reuters

Speaking at a news conference in Australia he said: "On the assessment of the effectiveness of the air strikes, they have been very effective by all the reports that we've received on the ground."

He added: "We're constantly assessing where we can continue to assist the Iraqi forces.... The Iraqi government requested our help and our assistance and we'll continue at the request of the Iraqi government."

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