In a video released by the Islamic State, John Cantlie speaks to the camera, reportedly from Kobani, about how the Sunni militant group is not on the retreat, despite Western media accounts. The British hostage, who was seized in 2012, appeared to be reading from a script.
Wearing all black and speaking from a rooftop, Cantlie said in the video the fighting has died down in Kobani, a Syrian town near the Turkish border that has the been the scene of intense fighting between ISIS militants and Kurdish militias. Cantlie declares there are no Kurdish fighters left in the town. ISIS is "mopping up now," Cantlie said.
"Contrary to what the Western media would have you believe, it is not an all-out battle here now. It is nearly over," Cantlie said in the video. "As you can hear, it is very quiet, just the occasional gunfire."
In the video, Cantlie refers to reports by several news organizations including the International Business Times.
For weeks, as ISIS militants battled Kurdish forces, hundreds of coalition airstrikes have hit the town. According to U.S. officials, the airstrikes killed ISIS militants and destroyed its tanks in Kobani. In the video, Cantlie said airstrikes deterred ISIS only for a short while. Instead of using its tanks, the Sunni militant group used small weapons and fought "from house to house," Cantlie said in the video.
The video does not contain death threats to ISIS hostages.