A new video that appears to show Islamic State hostage John Cantlie in Kobani was released Monday, with the British captive warning that the battle for the Syrian border town is "coming to an end."
"It is not an all-out battle now," Cantlie says in the five-and-a-half-minute propaganda-style video. "It is nearly over."
Aerial footage shot from a drone shows Kobani decimated from fighting between the Islamic State group and pro-Syrian forces and by air strikes on IS strongholds by a U.S.-led coalition.
“For a month now the soldiers of the Islamic State have been besieging this key Kurdish city," Cantlie says in the video, released on social media channels by the militant group. "And despite American air strikes which have cost nearly half a billion dollars in total, the mujahadeen have pushed deep into the city. They now control the eastern and southern sectors.
"Now the battle for Kobani is coming to an end," Cantlie continues. "The mujahedeen are just mopping up now, street to street, and building to building."
Earlier this month, the United Nations warned that it would be a “humanitarian catastrophe” if Kobani were to fall into the hands of the Islamic State. Last week, the militant group said it had seized an American airdrop of supplies and weapons near Kobani. U.S. officials said they were looking into those claims.
“The mujahedeen are being resupplied by the hopeless United States Air Force who parachuted two crates of weapons and ammunition into the outstretched arms of the mujahedeen,” Cantlie says. “All I’ve see here inside the city of Kobani is mujahedeen. There are no YPG [Syrian Kurdistan army], PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] or peshmerga in sight. Just a large number of Islamic State mujahedeen, and they are definitely not on the run.”
Turkey, which has been reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition, told Reuters on Monday that Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga were free to move through Turkey to Syria despite reports of a stalled agreement between Turkey and the YPG.
Cantlie, a war photographer and correspondent, was kidnapped in Syria with James Foley in November 2012. Foley was executed in August.
Cantlie has appeared in at least five Islamic State propaganda videos since his capture.