Kobani battle ‘coming to an end’


Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Islamic State (IS) have released a new video featuring British hostage John Cantlie which purportedly shows him in the embattled Syrian city of Kobani.

The 43-year-old British photojournalist, who has been held captive for over two years, said IS militants were “mopping up” against Kurdish fighters and the battle for city was “coming to an end” in the latest propaganda film.

Narrating the video in the style of a news report, Mr Cantlie is shown addressing the camera dressed all in black and is seen walking through the war-torn streets which he says are in Kobani on the Turkish border.

In previous instalments he has delivered his message apparently under duress from behind a desk and wearing an orange jumpsuit.

In the apparently scripted footage, Mr Cantlie said Western media groups including the BBC and The Independent were reporting information from the White House and Kurdish army commanders, “neither of whom have the slightest intentions of telling the truth”.

He said: “Now the battle for Kobani 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 Kobani 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.”

The latest video, which lasts five minutes and 32 seconds and is entitled Inside ‘Ayn al-Islam, begins with an aerial shot from a drone above the city with the sound of gunfire.

It is the second clip Mr Cantlie has featured in since the death of his father Paul Cantlie, 80, who died from complications following pneumonia last week.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of a further video and we are analysing its contents.”

In a previous video released on Saturday, Mr 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.

Mr 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.

Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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