The Russian Ministry of Defense dropped a bombshell accusation recently, claiming that the United States has been helping ISIS in the Middle East. They backed up their claims with “irrefutable evidence.” There was just one problem; the photographs showing the U.S. helping out ISIS were actually screenshots from a video game.
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Why would the U.S. help out ISIS? The Russians claim we did so in order “to promote American interests” in the Region.
The images, though, are not what they appear. As the Daily Mail reports, “they are actually scenes from AC-130 Gunship Simulator, a mobile video game produced by Byte Conveyor Studios and uploaded to YouTube in March 2015.”
You might think the Ministry of Defense would notice something of this nature. If they did, they hoped the public would not. The claimed that the images were filmed by Russian drones on November 9th.
One segment of the game is actually set during the Vietnam War.
The Ministry released their interpretations on social media. The posts on Facebook and Twitter have since been deleted.
The Daily Mail reports that the Facebook post had this caption: “Last week, the SyrianArabArmy supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces has liberated AbuKamal.”
“The operation ascertained facts of direct co-operation and support provided by the US-led coalition to the Isis terrorists.”
Internet sleuths, though, performed a quick reverse image search. All of the images had been on the internet for at least a year.
“The @mod-russia uses images from a computer game as evidence the US is working with ISIS,” wrote Eliot Higgins fro King’s College London.
“It’s worth noting the Russians have literally and falsely accused the US of using fakes from video games, and now they’ve actually gone and done it themselves,” he said.
Two of the images had been previously posted on Military.com as far back as July 2016.
While the Kremlin has remained mute on the issue, Russia’s TASS news agency reports that it was a mistake that these images were uploaded.
“The 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 militants of the Islamic State [terrorist organization outlawed in Russia] near Abu Kamal, Syria.”