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's top cleric backs new prime minister Abadi

Iraq's most influential cleric has thrown his weight behind new prime minister Haider al-Abadi, calling the transition a rare opportunity to resolve political and security crises.

Underscoring the urgency of containing a sectarian conflict fueled by Islamic State militants, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged the military to hoist only Iraq's flag to avoid factionalism.

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