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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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Islamic State fighters 'capture major Syrian airbase'

Islamic State fighters have captured a major military airbase in north eastern Syria, according to the Associated Press. It eliminates the last government-held outpost in a province dominated by the extremist group, activists and state media said.

A damaged ambulance is parked in front of the National Hospital of al-Tabqa Credit: Reuters

After several failed efforts to breach Tabqa air field located some 25 miles from the extremists' stronghold in Raqqa in recent days, Islamic State fighters managed to punch through and storm the air field, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said

"Some of the Syrian regime troops pulled out, and now the Islamic State is in full control of Tabqa," said Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman. "This makes Raqqa province the first to fully fall out of government hands."

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