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Russian Federation uses video game pictures to claim USA helped Isil

Russian Federation uses video game pictures to claim USA helped Isil

Earlier on Tuesday, the ministry posted a statement on its Facebook page saying the USA air force had tried to hinder Russian strikes on Islamic State militants, accompanied by satellite photographs it said showed a vehicle convoy of Islamic State militants leaving the Syrian town of Albu Kamal on November 9 2017.

An image circulated by the Russian military Tuesday purportedly showing "irrefutable evidence" of USA forces assisting Islamic State terrorists was actually taken from a 2015 video game.

The game in question is none other than AC-130 Gunship Simulator for Android and iOS.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has used a videogame screenshot to accuse the USA of cooperating with ISIS. It's not actually from a drone, but from a video game.

The ministry's official account said the black-and-white images were taken on November 9 near the Syria-Iraq border and provided "irrefutable proof that the United States is providing cover to IS combat units". None of the five photographs attached to the post were what the Russians claimed them to be, said online sleuths, with one photograph apparently a screenshot from the promo for a mobile phone game called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron.

In the corner of the image, however, a few letters of the developer's disclaimer can still be seen: "Development footage".

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Shortly after the Russian defense ministry posted the photos, social media users quickly identified the fakes.

Hours later, the ministry published an updated statement with a different set of images, which it also said proved their claims.

The images were taken from a video published online by the Iraqi military in June 2016, showing a joint US-Iraqi mission that attacked an ISIS convoy outside Falluja.

A spokesperson for the Russian defence ministry told media it was "carrying out checks on a civilian employee who mistakenly added photographs to the ministry's statement".

Responding to Russia's allegations in remarks carried by Reuters, a spokesman for the US-led coalition Col Ryan Dillon said the Russian allegations were "about as accurate as their air campaign".