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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White House praises Maliki's decision to step aside

Credit: Reuters

The United States government has praised Iraq prime minister Nuri al-Maliki for dropping his bid for a third term in office and putting his support behind a potential replacement, Haider al-Abadi.

"Today, Iraqis took another major step forward in uniting their country," US national security adviser Susan Rice said in a statement.

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