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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Bad Strategy
Journalist who was held hostage by Isis says airstrikes "are a trap"
Nicolas Hénin says being with IS is “like leaving the Matrix”.

The Syria Campaign / YouTube

A FRENCH JOURNALIST held hostage by Islamic State for 10 months says that airstrikes on the group would be a trap that would benefit nobody in the West.

Nicolas Hénin was held hostage by Mohammed Emwazi in Syria before being released in April 2014. Fellow journalists James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines and Alan Henning were killed by Emwazi.

In a five-minute video posted to the Youtube page of the Syria Campaign, Henin says that the group believes in a “mad prophecy” and lives in “a different matrix”.

He said that the radicalisation of many people in Syria was the result of a lax attitude from western governments, who had failed Syrians.

“For every single Syrian killed since the beginning of this conflict by Islamic State, between seven and 10 have been killed by the Syrian regime. We have to understand that these two parallel disasters for the Syrian people, they depend one on the other, and one cannot fight one without fighting the other.”

Hénin adds that the Paris attacks were an attempt by Islamic State to make westerners turn away migrants, who he says are “fleeing the Muslim dreamland and being welcomed by unbelievers”, a huge blow for IS propaganda.

“What we have to do is engage the locals. As soon as they have hope in a political solution, the Islamic State will collapse. It will just collapse.”

Britain yesterday voted to join airstrikes in the region, but Hénin says that IS areas should be blanket no-fly zones, which would provide security for locals in those areas, which he says would “devastate” the group.

Read: Islamic State video shows children ‘killing Syrian security forces’

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