Russia cites video game as ‘irrefutable’ proof that U.S. is helping Islamic State
Russia‘s defence ministry says it has “irrefutable evidence” that the United States is helping the Islamic State in Syria. The ministry posted its evidence to social media: a screenshot from a video game.
In a Facebook post, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation explained that during a Russian mission to liberate the Syrian region of Abu Kamal, they uncovered “facts of direct cooperation and support provided by the US-led coalition to the ISIS terrorists.”
Along with the message, the official Facebook page posted four photos as evidence of U.S. helping Islamic State militants. Russian officials also posted another photo on Twitter with a similar message. The post was deleted hours later.
Russia claimed the photos were captured by one of its drones on Nov. 9 and showed the U.S. providing air cover to an Islamic State envoy.
But Russia’s “evidence” wasn’t actually real, according to social media users who took it upon themselves to investigate. One photograph was a screenshot from a video game called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron — a video of which is on YouTube.
Fact-checking organization Conflict Intelligence Team posted on Facebook Tuesday explaining the remainder are screenshots from videos released by the Iraq government in June 2016 and show the country’s air force striking ISIS targets near Fallujah.
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In a statement to Russian media, the defence ministry said it is “carrying out checks on a civilian employee who mistakenly added photographs to the ministry’s statement.”
While the photos released by Russia are questionable, their allegations that the U.S. is helping the militants are serious.
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“This is the irrefutable evidence that there is no struggle against terrorism as the whole global community believes. The US are actually covering the ISIS combat units to recover their combat capabilities, redeploy, and use them to promote the American interests in the Middle East,” the Facebook post reads.
The White House has not yet responded to the allegations.
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