Russia's Defence Ministry to investigate wrong photos used on Syria statement

11_14_Russia_Syria

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.

Russia's Defense Ministry earlier on Tuesday published photographs that it said proved that U.S. forces refrained from launching airstrikes against forces of the Islamic State terror group as they fled Syria's Al Bukamal. It's not actually from a drone, but from a video game.

The Russian Defense Ministry did what every other troll does when caught red-handed - it deleted both posts.

Conflict Intelligence Team, a group of Russian online investigators who factcheck claims by the Russian military, said that the other four of the five photographs appear to be taken from 2016 footage released by Iraq's ministry of defence, depicting the Iraqi air force bombing Isis targets near Falluja. The image went viral nearly immediately, but it was quickly debunked once someone recognized that the image was actually from a 2015 trailer for AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron.

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

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The ministry's crop of the image even contained parts of the disclaimer text in the top right-hand corner, presumably left by the developer, which read: "Development footage".

"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 statement said.

Russia's defence ministry said not only did the Americans refuse to carry out a joint operation to strike Isis fighters leaving Abu Kamal but also allowed them to regroup on coalition-controlled territory.

The Russian military is investigating claims that a civilian employee attached the bogus images, state-run media reported later Tuesday. "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 told a briefing with Pentagon reporters on Tuesday.

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