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The Islamic State (IS) released a video of British captive John Cantlie giving a tour inside the city of Mosul in Iraq’s Ninawa province, including his visiting a marketplace and hospital, and driving a car and IS police motorcycle. The 8 minute, 15 second video was produced by the IS’ foreign language division, al-Hayat Media Center, and was distributed on Twitter and jihadi forums on January 3, 2015. While touring the city, Cantlie indicated that the month is December. During his segments, whether in the pediatric unit of a hospital, or a crowded market, Cantlie touted the services provided by the IS to the people, despite enemy reports about their lacking electricity and living amidst terrible conditions. He said, for example: “The media likes to paint a picture of life in the Islamic State as depressed, people walking around as subjugated citizens in chains, beaten down by strict, totalitarian rule. But really apart from some rather chilly but very sunny December weather, life here in Mosul is business as usual.”

In one segment, Cantlie sarcastically shouted at planes overhead, “Here! Here! Over here! You've come to rescue me again? Do something! Useless! Absolutely useless!”

Following is a transcript of the video:

0:00

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Al-Hayat Media Center

0:20

[John Cantlie]

Hello, I'm John Cantlie and today we're on top of the world in Mosul, overlooking the second largest city in Iraq, and under the complete control of the Islamic State for over five months. It's the absolute heartland of the Caliphate, and home to nearly two million people from every walk of life. Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, Mosul is an ancient trading city and a Sunni province, as much of Iraq used to be before American-led invasions and pro-Iranian governments changed the political map. Let's go down on the streets of Mosul below and find out.

1:00

[Title]

From Inside Mosul

1:10

[John Cantlie driving a car]

The media likes to paint a picture of life in the Islamic State as depressed, people walking around as subjugated citizens in chains, beaten down by strict, totalitarian rule. But really apart from some rather chilly but very sunny December weather, life here in Mosul is business as usual. One unnamed Mosul official said that Mosul is living through an extremely hard and horrible time. He was quoted on the Saudi-owned TV channel al-Arabiya, but really, it's misleading, because all I can see is thousands of people, thousands of Iraqis, going about their daily business here in Mosul after years of oppression under Saddam's rule, and the descent into chaos that followed the American invasion. Sunni Muslims can now walk on the streets of Mosul without fear of sheer oppression.

2:30

[John Cantlie in a marketplace]

No visit to a Mosul country would be complete without doing some shopping at the suq [market], the bustling, crazy markets where you can buy anything from books to lighters to perfumes to bags. And everywhere you look, everywhere you come, here in this old, old suqs - one of the oldest in Mosul - your struck by just how normal and crazy and busy everything is. This isn't a city living in fear, as the Western media would have you believe. This is just a normal city going about its daily business, and certainly nothing that is written in the Guardian on the 27th of October who said the price of basic goods have gone up sharply. People have no money, they said. Rubbish lies uncollected on the streets and there are only two hours of electricity every four days. Well, there are a lot of neon signs and flashing bright lights around here that have been on a lot longer than two hours in the last four days. I'm reminded of one quote from the Saudi-owned television channel al-Arabiya. It says the people of Mosul are living in very hard conditions. It is very difficult.

I look around and really that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

We have to wrap up at the suq now and move on to the next place, but there's a huge crowd of people around us. It is not an empty, deserted, depressed place at all. This is bustling and we have to move on.

4:05

[John Cantlie driving a car]

One of the heartbeats of any modern city is its healthcare system. If you don't have medicine, if you don't have doctors or nurses for your citizens then everyone is in big trouble. So we've managed to get permission to visit the main hospital here in Mosul. We're going to take the time to talk to the doctors and nurses to find out what are the demands being made on them for emergency medical care and just what kind of casualties they are admitting.

4:40

[John Cantlie in a hospital]

Now, this wing of the hospital is the special children's unit of pediatric problems of kids who need special medicine. The room we're about to go into is a room for children with psychiatric problems as a direct result of bombs and explosions falling from above. Come into this room with me. I have to talk quite quietly, because these kids are very adverse to loud noises because of the explosions. As you can see they're very young, their mothers are here, and they're clearly not happy. But despite all this there is plenty of electricity. We spoke to one of the doctors earlier and he told us they are getting the medicines they need. So despite the bombs raining down, and we're told that just two days ago an ambulance was hit by a bomb or a missile that fell from an aircraft. Despite these things the doctors are getting what they need and the Islamic State is prevailing - they can take it.

5:50

[John Cantlie sarcastically speaking to planes flying overhead]

Here! Here! Over here! You've come to rescue me again? Do something! Useless! Absolutely useless!

6:00

[John Cantlie exits an IS police car and speaks at a station]

Mosul is home to some two million people. That's a lot of businesses, homes, and traffic to keep an eye on. Just talking to you now and there's thousands of cars coming by. Like every other city in the world, Mosul relies on its police force to keep law and order on the streets. But prior to the Islamic State's take over, it seemed the only thing Mosul's police could do was run away from danger. If you look in Wikipedia under the entry of Mosul, it says that on November 10, 2004, the policemen not killed in the fighting fled the city, leaving Mosul without any police force for about a month. Then, in a CNN report written on June 13, 2014, they said: Police and soldiers running from their posts in Mosul raise the prospect that the Iraqi government did not have the will or the resources to win the fight.

So a decade later and all the police of Mosul really seemed to have learned was how to drop their weapons and run away from trouble.

7:10

[John Cantlie on an IS police motorcycle]

Here were are patrolling the streets of Mosul. It's been awhile since I rode a motorcycle. Excuse me if I wobble around a bit. It seems the police are almost redundant despite having a very firm presence here in Mosul. There's really very little crime being committed from what I can see. Just people going about their business and nothing like the police before who would run at the slightest sign of trouble. Anyway, we gotta go patrol now.

7:45

[John Cantlie standing outside a media place]

Playing in the background is a screen. This is a media place here in Mosul showing me reporting from Kobani. And now here I am in the streets of Mosul. It just goes to show the stretch of territory the Islamic State holds all the way from Kobani (and there I am in the background) to all the way here in Mosul (and here I am on the streets). That was met then and this is me now. It just shows how much territory the Islamic State are controlling.

 

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