Russian Federation accuses U.S. coalition of hampering its anti-IS operation in Syria

"These facts are conclusive evidence that the United States, while imitating an uncompromising fight against worldwide terrorism for the global community, in fact provides cover for Islamic State units", the defense ministry said.

Users were quick to notice that one of the images was taken from a video game named "AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron".

The posts included several aerial images supposedly backing Russia's claim, including one labeled: "ISIS automobile convoy leaves Abu Kamal for Syrian-Iraqi border (November 9th, 2017)".

The photographs have been deleted after the fact-checking organisation Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) accused the ministry of using a video game screenshot and old conflict photographs.

The video game image seems to be taken from a promotional video on the game's website and YouTube channel, closely cropped to omit the game controls and on-screen information. In the top-right corner, you can see the beginnings of the statement from the video that claims the footage shown was work-in-progress gameplay and that all of the content shown is subject to change.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has used a videogame screenshot to accuse the United States of cooperating with ISIS. The statement wasn't even fully cropped out of the images that Russian Federation tweeted.

Russian Federation alleges the USA is co-operating with so-called Islamic State by providing cover to fleeing IS militants.

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

The defence ministry told Russian news agencies on Tuesday evening it was "carrying out checks on a civilian employee who mistakenly added photographs to the ministry's statement".

Coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon called those claims, "about as accurate as their air campaign". "So, again that is pretty consistent with what we have seen come out of Russian MoD, as being baseless, inaccurate and you know, completely false", he said.

  • Jon Douglas