The Russian military has just claimed it has ‘irrefutable evidence’ that proves cooperation between the United States and Isis in Syria.
But the images the Russian Ministry of Defence used to back up the sensational accusation appear to have come from a video game.
In a now deleted Facebook post, the Russian MoD said it had ‘ascertained facts of direct cooperation by the US-led coalition to the Isis terrorists’.
‘#Russian_Mod shows irrefutable evidence that #US are actually covering Isis combat units to recover their combat capabilities, redeploy, and use them to promote American interests in #MiddleEast,’ the official account claimed.
Alongside the post were several thermal images that allegedly show Isis convoys fleeing Russian airstrikes in Abu Kamal, near the Syrian border with Iraq.
There was only one problem – one of the pictures is a snapshot from the video game AC-130 Gunship Simulator.
Byte Conveyor Studios released a video preview of its mobile gaming app in 2015 to show players how they could shoot down vehicles in drone-like footage.
Fast-forward two years and it’s being used by Russian officials to suggest the US is helping terrorists.
The Russian MoD said its ‘intel’ came after an operation between the Syrian Army and Russian Aeropspace Forces on November 9.
Apparently Russia asked the US-led coalition to help them ‘eliminate fleeing Isis convoys’.
The US forces allegedly refused to carry out the strikes because the terrorists ‘surrendered voluntary’ and they wouldn’t fire in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
The Russian MoD then asked why the heavily armed terrorist convoys were apparently allowed to regroup in territories controlled by the US.
It then suggests that on top of allowing the terrorists to hide from Russian and Syrian air strikes, US forces tried to ‘interfere’ with Russian aircraft in the area.
‘It is clear that offensive of the SAA [Syrian Arab Army] towards Abu Kamal has upset the US plans to establish the US-supported authorities beyond the Syrian government’s power,’ the Russian MoD wrote.
‘This is the irrefutable evidence that there is no struggle against terrorism as the whole global community believes,’ it continued.
‘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 Russian MoD has been approached for further comment.