The Russian Ministry of Defense tweeted on Tuesday “irrefutable” proof of collusion between the United States and ISIS in Syria.
But the “irrefutable” proof, as observed by Eliot Higgins of the investigative outlet Bellingcat, turned out to be a cropped image of a mobile phone video game “AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron” and grainy photos from Iraq a year before the alleged collusion took place.
The photos, posted to social media on Tuesday morning by the Russian Ministry of Defense, accused the American military of thwarting Russian airstrikes by providing cover to ISIS fighters as they fled the city of Abu Kamal in Syria on November 9.
One of the posts, as reported by The Telegraph, read, “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.”
Twitter users quickly identified the image as a YouTube video of the mobile phone video game.
Though the Russian MoD deleted the tweet and blamed the post on a lower-level civilian employee, the post remains archived.
This is not the first time Russia has misled with false claims. In the 2017 documentary, “The Putin Interviews,” directed by Oliver Stone, Putin shows Stone video footage on his phone which was allegedly Russian fighters battling ISIS in Syria, Newsweek reported. The footage was reportedly the Americans fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009.