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 Defence Secretary: We made mistakes in Iraq

The US learned a "very costly lesson" in the last Iraq conflict by "imposing ourselves in a country that we really did not understand", the country's Secretary of Defence has admitted.

Chuck Hagel told AuBC's 7:30 Report he had never seen a more dangerous period in the Middle East than is currently being experienced, but added that "a military solution is not going to end it or fix it".

Our role is limited and the President has been very clear. We will not, the United States, go back into Iraq in any combat mission like we were once in.

– Chuck Hagel, US Defence Secretary

Mr Hagel also said Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki should take "some responsibility" for "failing his country" in the battle with Islamic State militants.

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