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The Islamic State (Isis) have published a new video of British hostage John Cantlie discussing coalition airstrikes on Mosul University.
John cantlie speaking about us bombing Musul University and Popular Areas in the city
It was his first appearance for more than a year and the war reporter revealed that he was in the IS-held city of Mosul in northern Iraq. The city has come under sustained bombing from the US-led coalition and US President Barack Obama believes that the city could fall to the Iraqi army by the end of the year.
He introduces himself to the camera in front of rubble, John Cantlie says is the remains of Mosul University, which was razed in March 2016. He declared: “You have to ask yourself: Why did the Coalition decide to destroy the university?” he continues “normal, social everyday life has been destroyed and if you are going to destroy a university, why bother?”
The video was released through IS’s ‘official’ news agency Amaq and it is unclear whether or not Cantlie is under duress whilst the video was being filmed. The 46-year-old goes on to discuss another airstrike on a bank in a populated area of central Mosul.
Cantlie had previously appeared in a series of propaganda videos on behalf of IS, entitled Lend Me Your Ears, producing seven videos in the series, initially from within his IS prison in an orange jumpsuit, but later on location in the self-proclaimed caliphate.
Cantlie was captured by Islamists for a second time in November 2012, alongside American journalist James Foley. He has worked for several newspapers, including The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph. IS beheaded Foley in August 2014.
In February 2015 Cantlie during another propaganda video said that he held the government partially responsible for the death of his father, who died of complications following pneumonia in 2014, shortly after appealing to his son’s captors to set him free.
In July 2012 he was held hostage along with Dutchman Jeroen Oerlemans and their guide in July 2012 by Islamist militants in northern Syria but was rescued by a Free Syrian Army group a week after. The pair were both shot in a botched escape attempt and Cantlie said afterwards that as many as 15 out of 30 of the jihadists holding them appeared to be British.