Propaganda video shows `depravity` of IS group: US

An Islamic State propaganda video featuring a British hostage playing the role of a field reporter in a disputed Syrian town shows the "depravity" of the jihadists, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Washington: An Islamic State propaganda video featuring a British hostage playing the role of a field reporter in a disputed Syrian town shows the "depravity" of the jihadists, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The US military is assessing the video`s authenticity but has no reason to suspect it is fake, spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.

"We`re still in the process of assessing its validity," Kirby said.

The video shows kidnapped reporter John Cantlie, 43, apparently in the Syrian town of Kobane, insisting the IS group was not losing the battle for the contested border town.

The video "is just another example of the barbarity of these people," Kirby said of the IS group. 

"They`ve taken a hostage, a man they`ve taken captive, and obviously forcing this individual to do this video. It`s just another example of their depravity."

Cantlie was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012 while covering the civil war there. Four hostages -- two Americans and two Britons -- have been executed by IS militants.

Cantlie has appeared in a series of slickly produced propaganda videos apparently designed to influence media coverage of the war and to counter US and British accounts of the conflict.

US military officials say air strikes have helped stall an IS assault on Kobane and that the jihadists will face a propaganda problem if they fail to capture the town after so much effort.

Separately, media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders condemned the IS group for its "cowardly" use of a hostage in a forced role to push the group`s message.

"Subjected to unprecedented psychological pressure, Cantlie has no choice but to cooperate," said group secretary-general Christophe Deloire, noting the jihadists` "barbaric" murder of other hostages.

"Cantlie must be freed without delay so that he ceases to be used as standard-bearer of Islamic State`s news manipulation."
 

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