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  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. Robert Moore

No combat role for US but boots will be on the ground

A small but very revealing and significant shift is underway. The White House is no longer saying no US troops on the ground. Rather no US troops on the ground in a combat role, recognising the reality that some kind of rescue mission is going to happen and very quickly.

Obviously one option is a humanitarian corridor. I think more likely is some kind of massive airlift, simply because of the urgency of the situation and the judgement that many of the displaced people are too weak to walk, and that a corridor would be very difficult and problematic to try to secure.

Even an airlift would be challenging because clearly Islamic State militants would regard killing or capturing any US soldiers or airmen as a major propaganda coup. It is clear that even in terms of force protection, this could slip into a combat situation. For this President that would be a massive reversal, which is why tonight the White House is still saying no final decision has yet been made.

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