New IS video features British hostage criticizing U.S. policy

Published September 30th, 2014 - 06:51 GMT

Islamic State has released a new video featuring the British hostage John Cantlie in which he criticises President Obama's “disappointingly predictable military strategy” and attacks coalition plans to use Iraqi troops and Syrian rebels to fight Isis.

The five-minute film, uploaded on Monday night, saw Mr Cantlie sat behind a desk in the familiar orange jumpsuit, in his third such appearance. There appeared to be no mention of the British decision to join the US-led coalition with airstrikes, suggesting the video was filmed before last Friday.

Responding to President Obama’s address on September 10 he describes its rhetoric as “prideful chestbeating about how the USA always saves the world single-handedly” adding “Isis say they welcome meeting America’s under-constructed army.”

The hostage goes on to deliver scripted passages in which he describes the Free Syrian Army as an “undisciplined, corrupt and largely ineffective fighting force” and adds that arming Syrian rebels with Western weapons is “largely useless” as many end up in the hands of Isis soldiers.

Criticising the US air strikes in Iraq, Mr Cantlie said: “Air power is good at taking out specific targets but it is not much use a taking and holding ground.

“For that you need effective and disciplined troops and it is hard to see how this hotch-potch army with a long history of underperforming is going to be any form of credible infantry”.

It is the third such propaganda video released by Isis and hosted by the British photojournalist who was seized by militants in November 2012 when he went to Syria to meet fighters who were said to have helped secure his release after he was captured there in July of that year.

Isis extremists rapidly took control of swathes of Iraq and Syria over the summer. They murdered David Haines, a British aid worker, and posted a video of his death online earlier this month. The militants are also threatening to kill Alan Henning, 47, a taxi driver from Eccles, Salford, who missed last Christmas with his family to deliver medical supplies to Muslims in Syria. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the video and are studying its contents.”

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