Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Russian Federation posts video game screenshot as 'irrefutable evidence' of U.S. helping ISIS

Russian Federation posts video game screenshot as 'irrefutable evidence' of U.S. helping ISIS

"The Russian Defense Ministry is investigating its civil service employee who erroneously attached wrong photo illustrations to its statement on interaction between the US-led worldwide coalition and Islamic State militants near [Al-Bukamal], Syria", the ministry said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

The Russian Defense Ministry said they were ISIS trucks fleeing the city of Abu Kamal in Syria on November 9, which the U.S. refused to bomb.

Instead, it came from the smartphone game AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron. It's not actually from a drone, but from a video game.

According to the Russian MoD, Washington planned to "recover their combat capabilities,", so they could be used elsewhere in the Middle East as proxy forces on the Americans' behalf.

Researchers at Conflict Intelligence Team, a nonprofit group that investigates Russian military activities, subsequently reported that three other images shared by Russia as "irrefutable evidence" of us forces assisting the Islamic State were actually taken from video released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in 2016. To make things worse for Russia's Ministry of Defense, they didn't completely crop out the "development footage" disclaimer.

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AFP was able to compare the images in the emailed defence ministry statement with the images of the videogame on YouTube and confirm the resemblance. This is a work in progress.

The posts included several screen captures allegedly taken by US forces shepherding an ISIS convoy, protecting them from Russian and Syrian forces. The statement wasn't even fully cropped out of the images that Russian Federation tweeted.

The original is consistent with a June 2016 Iraqi military video, which shows coalition airstrikes and Iraqi military forces attacking an ISIS convoy fleeing Falluja.

Russia's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday an employee had attached the wrong photos to a statement accusing the United States of providing de-facto air cover for Islamic State in Syria after the mistake was spotted online.

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