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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Iraq: Germany sends aid and may equip Kurds

Germany's armed forces have begun sending aid supplies to northern Iraq, the country's defence minister says, adding that potential delivery of military equipment is also being looking into.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (L) watches as humanitarian aid is loaded to an airforce Transall C-160 plane. Credit: Reuters

The first plane set off for Irbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, carrying medicines, food and blankets and further aid flights were planned for the day.

Ursula von der Leyen said Iraqi troops are trained on and wanted weapons from the former Soviet Union, adding: "Germany does not have such weapon systems and could also not deliver them."

The country is currently considering sending equipment such as protective helmets and vests, she noted.

But in an interview with Germany's Bild, von der Leyen said: "Generally, if a genocide can be prevented with German weapons, then we must help."

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