John Cantlie, the British hostage being held by the Islamic State, has appeared in a mock news report claiming to be from inside Kobane, saying the battle is "coming to an end". The film includes "drone shots" of what is said to be the beleaguered city.
The 43-year-old photojournalist presents the film entitled 'Ayn-Islam’, in which the script "refutes" Western media claims that the Islamic State is no longer in control of the city. Referring to the militants as mujahedeen, Cantlie addresses the camera from the zone reportedly controlled by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
“We are here in the heart of the so-called PKK safe zone which is now controlled entirely by the Islamic State. For a month now the soldiers of the Islamic State have been besieging this city and despite continual American air strikes, which so far have cost nearly half a billion dollars, the mujahedeen have pushed deep into the heart of the city. They now control the eastern and southern sectors.”
The journalist then lists western reporters and commentators that have published stories claiming the Islamic State are in retreat, suggesting that they are receiving their information from Kurdish fighters who, allied with Washington, don’t have the “slightest intention of telling the truth of what is happening here on the ground.”
Cantlie video 'the most extraordinary jihadist video I have ever seen' includes Kobane drone footage, Frank Gardner #r4today— Jamie Angus (@grvlx001) October 28, 2014
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It is the second video he has featured in since the death of his father Paul Cantlie, 80, who died from complications following pneumonia last week. Dressed all in black, Cantlie said: "Now the battle for Kobane is coming to an end. The mujahideen are just mopping up now, street to street, and building to building. You can occasionally hear erratic gunfire in the background as a result of those operations.
"But contrary to what the Western media would have you believe, it is not an all-out battle here now. It is nearly over. As you can hear, it is very quiet, just the occasional gunfire. Two-hundred thousand inhabitants of the city have been displaced because of the fighting that came here. You can see the refugee camps over my right shoulder over there in Turkey, where the inhabitants now are. But contrary to media reports, the fighting in Kobane is nearly over. Urban warfare is as about as nasty and tough as it gets, and it's something of a speciality of the mujahideen."
In previous instalments he has delivered his message under duress from behind a desk and wearing an orange jumpsuit. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of a further video and we are analysing its contents."
In his last video released on Saturday, Cantlie, who has worked for newspapers including the Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Times, told how prisoners have been waterboarded for trying to escape. He also read from emails allegedly exchanged between IS and the families of American captives who complained about the US government's refusal to negotiate their loved ones' release.
Cantlie's sister, Jessica Cantlie, has previously appealed for "direct contact" with the militants holding him. Since August, IS has filmed and posted online the deaths of four Western hostages. UK aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were beheaded on camera by the jihadi organisation, which is also known as Isis or Isil.
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