Russia Used Video Game Screenshots to "Prove" the US Is Assisting ISIS

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2017

The ministry posted five photos on its official social media accounts, along with a statement that accused USA troops of allowing IS militants to hide from Russian and Syrian air strikes.

The posts included several screen captures allegedly taken by USA forces shepherding an ISIS convoy, protecting them from Russian and Syrian forces. Instead, it said, American forces interfered with Russian air operations, allowing ISIS to recover and redeploy.

The allegations are extremely grave, but may be harder to take seriously given the "irrefutable proof" offered in the form of photographic accompaniment. It turns out that the images that the account used actually came from a game called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron, a connection that was made over and over as more people recognized the similarities with a YouTube clip showcasing the game.

Another image purporting to show the same convoy in Syria was actually taken from a 2016 video published by Iraq's defence ministry, which said it was an Islamic State convoy fleeing Fallujah, Iraq, Conflict Intelligence Team investigators found.

"This is the irrefutable evidence that there is no struggle against terrorism as the whole global community believes", said the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in an inflammatory Facebook post, which it also shared on Twitter.

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That video was originally posted in 2015, and shows a development preview for the simulator.

But none of the images are from Abu Kamal, and none are from Nov 9. In turn, western countries have accused Russian jets of indiscriminate bombing tactics including the deliberate targeting of hospitals.

A US Department of Defense spokesman said this incident was just the latest "episode" by the Russians. The footage appeared to be an exact match for old footage of United States forces in Afghanistan.

A later press release said it had launched a probe into the actions of a civilian employee of one of its subdivisions who "mistakenly attached photos" to the first version of its statement.

Other reports by GizPress

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