A French journalist held hostage by Islamic State for 10 months, has made an impassioned plea against bombing Syria, saying it was a trap that would only benefit Isis.
Nicolas Hénin, previously held hostage by Mohammed Emwazi, implored the international community to seek a political solution. Engaging with Syrians, not bombing them, was the surest way to bring about the collapse of Isis, he said.
In a five-minute video said to have been recorded in the past few days in Paris and posted on YouTube by the Syria Campaign, Hénin said: “Strikes on Isis are a trap. The winner of this war will not be the parties that have the newest, most expensive, most sophisticated weaponry, but the party that manages to have the people on its side.”
In his message, apparently timed to coincide with Wednesday’s UK parliament debate on joining Syria airstrikes, he said: “At the moment, with the bombings, we are more likely pushing the people into the hands of Isis. What we have to do, and this is really key, we have to engage the local people.
“As soon as the people have hope in the political solution, then Islamic State will just collapse. It will have no ground any more. It will collapse.”