Russia Tried to Pass off a Video Game as Combat Footage

A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria

The evidence that Russia came forward with on Twitter was said to be "irrefutable proof" of collusion, but those who saw the tweets from the Russian Ministry of Defense Twitter account swiftly pointed out that the proof wasn't as irrefutable as it claimed.

The ministry said US-led coalition planes instead tried to impede Russian Aerospace Forces operations in the area.

Russia's defence ministry on Tuesday posted images it said proved the USA was aiding the Islamic State jihadist group in the Middle East, but social media users pointed out they included a still from a videogame.

The militants had been forced to retreat from the city of Abu Kamal in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour, one of the last remaining IS strongholds in Syria, by the advancing government troops.

The images are consistent with a mix of screengrabs from a number of clearly identifiable videos. The Russian MOD, however, captioned it somewhat differently, suggesting that the image was captured on November 9, 2017, depicting an "ISIS automobile convoy leaving Abu Kamal for Syrian-Iraqi border". In reality, the screen caps were taken from Iraqi Air Force footage taken in 2016 and publicly available.

Shortly after the Russian defense ministry posted the photos, social media users quickly identified the fakes. Even worse, some of the footage was taken from a video game.

A US Department of Defense spokesman said this incident was just the latest "episode" by the Russians.

CNN has reached out to the Russian defense ministry for comment, but has not heard back.

Early on November 14th, the Russian Ministry of Defense posted messages on social media in Russian, Arabic, and English describing "irrefutable evidence" that USA forces were saving, not attacking ISIS forces.

The defense ministry has since republished its original claims of United States support of ISIS on its social media accounts, with new photos.

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