ISIS captive John Cantlie has been put in front of a video camera once again to be a messenger for the militant group, this time apparently from the streets of Kobani.
The Syrian Kurdish-controlled town, situated along the border with Turkey, has been a focal point for Kurdish fighters and international airstrikes. But Cantlie’s report from Kobani aims to question how successful the fight against ISIS really is.
“The western media, and I can’t see any of their journalists here in the city of Kobani, have been saying recently that the Islamic State (as ISIS refers to itself) are on the retreat,” Cantlie, a British photojournalist held captive since November 2012, said while standing in front of a pile of rubble with the Turkish border said to be on the horizon behind him.
Taken from various locations, the video is the latest in a series of ISIS propaganda reports that Cantlie has been made to anchor.
The video titled Inside ‘Ayn al-Islam, the name ISIS uses to refer to Kobani, appeared online Monday.
The original video was removed from YouTube later in the day.
“Contrary to what the Western media would have you believe, it is not an all out battle here now. It is nearly over,” Cantlie recites in the message. “Urban warfare is as about as nasty and as tough as it gets, and it is something of a specialty of the mujahideen.”
WATCH: The Syrian town of Kobani was hit by large explosions on Tuesday morning, what appeared to be airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition.
News reports on Sunday estimated 815 people had been killed during 40 days of fighting in and around Kobani.
While Western governments have reported ISIS militants have been held off, ISIS has reportedly renewed its efforts to take control of the town and its vicinity.
Cantlie, usually seen in ISIS propaganda videos sitting at a table in orange (took out ‘an’) prisoner clothing, this time appears in what look like civilian clothes, his hair slightly longer than in a video released Oct. 24., and speaking from what appear to be different vantage points in Kobani.
“Without any safe access, there are no journalists here in the city. So, the media are getting their information from Kurdish commanders and White House press secretaries, neither of which have the slightest intention of telling the truth,” Cantlie said.
Social media verification service Storyful said the date the video was taken could not be verified, but noted Cantlie spoke of “news articles published on October 16 and 17, and cites comments made by John Kerry on October 20.”
The series of videos in which Cantlie normally appears, titled Lend Me Your Ears, Messages from the British Detainee John Cantlie, deliver messages lashing out at Western attempts to eliminate ISIS, particularly those by U.S. and British governments.
The most recent video in the series detailed the time Cantlie has spent in captivity, including time spent with foreign captives who have since been released and the U.S. journalists and British aid workers who have been beheaded.
The murders of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid workers David Cawthorne Haines and Alan Henning, were captured on video and posted online.
In the most recent video, of Henning’s execution, ISIS warned it would next kill U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig (formerly known as Peter Kassig).
The U.S. and U.K. governments insist they do not negotiate with terrorists and do not pay ransoms to extremist groups.
Cantlie, in the Oct. 24 video, discussed how ISIS “launched a long-term operation” in 2013 to capture westerners in Syria and negotiate ransoms for their release. He said if the prisoners behaved themselves, and didn’t try to break free, they were treated well.
“Some of us who tried to escaped were waterboarded by our captors, as Muslim prisoners are waterboarded by their American captors,” Cantlie said.
The fifth Cantlie video was released the the day before as an in-depth New York Times article recounting the stories of former ISIS hostages, those whose governments paid hefty ransoms for their release.
The New York Times article detailed how Cantlie was kidnapped along with Foley as they filed reports from an Internet cafe inside Syria, before heading back into Turkey on Nov. 22, 2012, how they were transferred between groups, and eventually tortured after ransom demands were not met.
Stories shared by former hostages gave insight to the physical and mental torture the U.S. and British hostages suffered at the hands of their captors.
“You could see the scars on his ankles,” Jejoen Bontinck, a 19-year-old Belgian convert to Islam who shared a cell with Foley, told the New York Times. “He told me how they had chained his feet to a bar and then hung the bar so that he was upside down from the ceiling. Then they left him there.”