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ISIS Hostage Video Shows Mosul War

ISIS is estimated to have up to 6,000 fighters in Mosul. The operation to retake Mosul from ISIS began in October.

A new propaganda video from the Islamic State group features British hostage John Cantlie showing off rubble in war-torn Mosul, Iraq. Cantlie, who hadn't been seen in an ISIS video for five months, appears thin and pale as he is forced to make coerced statements about the victims of ongoing airstrikes against the militant group. Cantlie was captured four years ago by ISIS and until the video became public this week it was unclear he was still alive, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Cantile, who was working as a war correspondent in Syria when he was captured in 2012, has previously appeared in a dozen ISIS videos since 2014 from Iraq and Syria. He is often dressed as a soldier of the self-declared caliphate, but authorities say he is being held against his will and fed lines.

In the latest ISIS video, he is shown with a beard and wearing a black coat as he stands on a bridge. He says Mosul civilians, not ISIS fighters, are being targeted by the Iraqi army's operation to retake the city that became in 2014 the group's largest territory in Iraq. Before the latest video, Cantlie last appeared in an ISIS video released in July that also showed him in Mosul. 

A U.S.-led coalition backing the Iraqi army carried out three airstrikes this week in Mosul that destroyed "a land bridge; damaged a bridge, a front-end loader, 47 roads; and suppressed a tactical unit," according to a statement. ISIS is estimated to have up to 6,000 fighters in Mosul. The operation to retake Mosul from ISIS began in October.

"Now, can't see any mujahideen, can you?" Cantlie says in the video, using the Arabic word for a fighter engaged in holy war. "No, these are just the everyday normal people of Mosul. The mujahideen are out on the front lines, kilometers outside."

Chris Voss, former chief hostage negotiator for the FBI, said ISIS is using Cantlie to send a message to the Pentagon.


"What they're trying to say is ‘ISIS is gone, you're wasting your bullets and bombs. They're gone and the only people you're hurting is civilians.’” he told ABC News. “The subtle messages are more effective."

Source: Yahoo News