Russian Defense Ministry uses video game screenshot as proof US is cooperating with ISIS

Tuesday the official social media account of the Russian Defense Ministry accused the U.S. of cooperating with ISIS. As proof, the Defense Ministry published screenshots which, it claimed, were drone images of an ISIS convoy on the ground last week. Sharp-eyed observers quickly noticed that one of the images came from a video game. From the Guardian:

Russia’s defence ministry has tried to pass off what appear to be stills from a mobile phone military simulation game as “irrefutable evidence” of cooperation between US forces and Islamic State militants in Syria.

The photographs were appended to social media posts from the ministry’s official accounts posted on Tuesday morning, which accused the Americans of providing air cover for an Isis convoy with the aim of using Isis fighters to further US interests.

The images have since been pulled down but here’s how they initially appeared:

That image is actually a screenshot from a video game called AC-130 Gunship Simulator. Here’s a video promoting the game in 2015. This is apparently where the Russians grabbed their screenshot:

The video game wasn’t the only “proof” the Defense Ministry offered. They also provided several other aerial images which were from actual drone footage. However, all of them appear to be images from previous attacks on ISIS in 2016:

This video sums up the fakes:

The Defense Ministry has now deleted the tweets containing the fake photos and, according to Sputnik, is now claiming this was all a mistake by a civilian employee:

The Russian military said it published on Tuesday evening the original photos of Daesh (ISIS) convoy leaving the Syrian town of Abu Kemal hours after the wrong ones had been attached to a ministry’s statement.

The defense ministry is examining why a civilian employee attached the photographs to the statement about the collusion between the US-led coalition and the Daesh terrorist group in the area of Abu Kamal town in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province, according to the new statement.

It really is odd that a civilian did all of this without any authorization or verification from his superiors. In fact, it’s almost impossible to believe. The bottom line here is that Russia lies, frequently and shamelessly. But even as the claims have been shredded online, Russian media is repeating this using the fake photos. Unless you speak Russian, you won’t understand what the announcer is saying but the pictures are unmistakable.

All you can do is laugh.

This tweet reads, “Here you can see the helplessness of the Islamists against the intervention of the coalition led by Russia.”