British hostage appears in new IS video
London, Nov 22 (PTI) British journalist John Cantlie, being held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State (IS) terror group, has appeared in a new video in which he claims the US failed to rescue him and fellow hostages in July.
The nine-minute film, the seventh in a series titled ‘Lend Me Your Ears’, shows the freelance photojournalist behind a desk and apparently reading from a script, following the pattern of most of the previous videos featuring him.
Speaking from behind a desk and dressed in an orange jumpsuit, Cantlie, who has previously explained that he is speaking under duress, blames British Prime Minister David Cameron for not going far enough to help him.
Cantlie describes how IS militants were put into cars and moved days before a US raid on July 4, American Independence Day, to save the hostages.
“I will tell you about a failed raid to rescue us and how it feels to be left for dead by your own government,” he said.
“On July 4, Independence Day, the Americans did try to get us out of prison. Not by negotiation or prisoner exchange but by an incredibly complex, risky and expensive rescue attempt that failed,” Cantlie said in the video.
The 43-year-old was seized in late 2012 and the UK Foreign Office said it is “analysing” the latest footage.
Since August, IS has posted videos online showing the deaths of two British and two US hostages.
In the new video, Cantlie said he accepted “long ago” that his fate is “overwhelmingly likely” to be the same as his “cellmates”.
He referred to the policy of the UK and US of not negotiating the release of hostages through means such as ransom payments.
There is no indication as to when the video was filmed, although Cantlie does refer to the death of British aid worker David Haines, which happened in September.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of a further video and are analysing its contents.”
Cantlie has been held captive in Syria twice.
He was kidnapped first in July 2012, but escaped with help from the Free Syrian Army.
He was then kidnapped for a second time when he returned to Syria towards the end of 2012.
Last month, Cantlie’s father Paul, 80, died from complications following pneumonia.
It came two weeks after he recorded a video message from his hospital bed urging his son’s release.
Cantlie’s sister, Jessica, had earlier appealed for “direct contact” with the militants.