The Islamic State militant group has released a video showing British hostage John Cantlie purportedly in the conflict-torn Syrian town of Kobani.
The propaganda video, the sixth of its kind released by the jihadists, shows Cantlie reporting in the style of a field journalist from Kobani, dismissing media reports that the Islamic State is being pushed back by US airstrikes and Kurdish forces.
Cantlie’s appearance in the video was quite different from the previous videos ISIL had released, where he was shown dressed in Guantanamo-style orange garb.
In this latest video, Cantlie’s greying hair seems to have been dyed, and his beard had been left to grow in the style adopted by many Salafi Muslims.
British hostage John Cantlie in a previous Islamic State propaganda video
“Hello, I’m John Cantlie and today we’re in the city of Kobani, on the Syrian-Turkish border,” the video starts out, showing what appears to be a clear view of the Turkish side of the border. “That is, in fact, Turkey right behind me and we are here in the heart of the so-called PKK safe zone which is now controlled entirely by the Islamic State. Now the Western media, and I can’t see any of their journalists here in the city of Kobani, have been saying recently that Islamic State are on the retreat.”
Cantlie continued to downplay the efforts of anti-Islamic State forces in the fight for Kobani.
“There are no YPG, PKK, or Peshmerga in site. Just a large number of Islamic State mujahedeen, and they are definitely not on the run,” he says.
“Without any safe access, there are no journalists here in the city. So the media are getting their information from Kurdish commanders and White House press secretaries, neither of whom have the slightest intention of telling the truth of what is happening here on the ground.”