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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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Hammond urging EU leaders to step up Iraq efforts

The Foreign Secretary will tell European allies to increase their efforts in support of Iraq after Downing Street indicated Britain would be willing to arm Kurdish fighters in the country.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Philip Hammond is to tell his EU counterparts there is a need for better co-ordination on both aid efforts and the delivery of military supplies to the Kurds, who complain they are poorly armed to battle Islamic State jihadists.

French President Francois Hollande has already committeed to the "imminent delivery of military equipment" in a phone call with Iraqi President Fouad Massoum.

But the UK has so far only agreed to transport military equipment supplied by other countries to the Kurds.

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