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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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CIA 'provides weapons directly' to Kurdish forces in Iraq

US officials have told NBC News the CIA is providing weapons directly to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq.

Small arms and reportedly shoulder-fired weapons have been sent to the forces through the CIA rather than channelling through the Iraqi government.

Kurdish Peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants near Ninevah. Credit: REUTERS/Ari Jalal

The US will also continue its targeted military air strikes "to level the playing field" in support of the Peshmerga, officials said.

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