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Tipsheet

In New Propaganda Video, ISIS Accidentally Exposes What Hurts Them the Most

The Islamic State released a video on Tuesday showing British hostage John Cantlie walking around the ISIS stronghold, Mosul, while examining damage done by coalition airstrikes.  

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Cantlie, who was thought to have been killed years ago, was probably forced to recite the message from the Islamic leaders as they filmed the wreckage.

The video opens by showing Mosul University, the second largest school in Iraq and centerpiece for the city and it's people.  After ISIS took control of the school in 2014, they destroyed many of the books and learning transcripts and turned the building into a strategic military base.  However, in March, the school was destroyed by a coalition airstrike.

The video goes on to show a local market area in Mosul that was also targeted by an airstrike, as well as a local business district.  The two targets drive Mosul's economy and are designed to show validation of the Islamic government.

This video is different from other videos because most ISIS propaganda shows the group in a position of strength.  Beheadings, drownings, and all other methods of execution are devised to propel power and fear. However, in the video released on Tuesday, we see what hurts ISIS the most.  We see that when airstrikes target strategic and economic areas, ISIS is forced to use their resources to make videos reprimanding the strikes.  

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