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Russian defense ministry says civilian employee behind fake video game images of ISIS

The Russian defense ministry had earlier tweeted what it called proof of US collaboration with ISIS, but the photos turned out not to be legitimate

On November 14, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Twitter account published (and later deleted) “irrefutable evidence that U.S. is actually covering ISIS combat units to recover their combat capabilities, redeploy, and use them to promote American interests in Middle East,” sharing several black-and-white photos. Moscow claims the images were recorded on November 9 near the city of Abu Kamal in Syria, according to Meduza.

The research group Conflict Intelligent Team (CIT) has pointed out, however, that one of the photos published by Russia’s Defense Ministry is actually a screenshot from the mobile videogame “AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron.”

According to Conflict Intelligence Team, another image Moscow shared allegedly showing U.S.-ISIS cooperation was actually recorded by the Iraqi Defense Ministry in June 2016 and shows the Iraqi Airforce bombing ISIS near Fallujah.

Russia’s Defense Ministry says it is investigating the publication of a videogame screenshot presented as evidence of American collusion with ISIS in Syria. Officials say the Defense Ministry’s tweets (one in Russian and another in English) were written by a civilian employee.

TASS reported on the explanation provided:

“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 international coalition and Islamic State militants near Abu Kamal, Syria,” the ministry said.

Defense officials still assert, however, that the U.S. military in Syria is aiding terrorists. In a revised tweet, Moscow published more “irrefutable evidence” allegedly recorded by drones, repeating the government’s earlier claim that “the U.S. are [sic] actually covering ISIS combat units to recover their combat capabilities, redeploy, and use them to promote the American interests in the Middle East,” according to Meduza.

In a new statement, Russia’s Defense Ministry says the U.S. military refused to attack ISIS forces on November 9 outside the city of Abu Kamal in Syria. Moscow maintains that this decision by the Americans is “an objective fact, recorded in transcripts of the talks.”

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