by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Nov 14, 2017
Russia's defence ministry on Tuesday posted images it said proved the US was aiding the Islamic State jihadist group in the Middle East, but social media users pointed out they included a still from a videogame.
The ministry's official account said the black-and-white images were taken on November 9 near the Syria-Iraq border and provided "irrefutable proof that the US is providing cover to IS combat units".
But the monitor Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), along with a number of social media users, was quick to compare one of the images with an identical still from the wargame "AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron".
Other images posted to Twitter appeared to be taken from videos released by Baghdad's Ministry of Defence in 2016, showing the Iraqi Air Force bombing jihadists near Fallujah, the CIT said.
AFP was able to compare the images in the emailed defence ministry statement with the images of the videogame on YouTube and confirm the resemblance.
The images were later deleted from the ministry of defence's Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the ministry said several hours later that there had been a "mistake", and publishing a different set of pictures, calling them "irrefutable proof" of US aid of IS.
"The defence ministry is looking into a civilian employee of one of the departments who attached photos to the defence ministry's statement by mistake," a new statement was quoted by Russian agencies as saying.
The military stood by its allegations saying "the refusal of US command to inflict strikes on ISIL convoys on November 9 is an established fact recorded in the transcript of conversations".
- 'Barrage of lies' -
The US Embassy in Moscow said in a statement posted on Twitter that "the US is not going to spend time on the nonsensical claims by the Russian ministry of defense accusing us of complicity with ISIS, using images from video games and old photos of military operations in another country."
"We need to focus on destroying our common enemy and not play games," it said.
Moscow has previously accused Washington of "pretending" to fight IS in Iraq, allowing jihadists into neighbouring Syria where Russia and the US have backed opposing sides in the bloody conflict.
US military spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon called the Russian statements a "barrage of lies", saying they were "as accurate as their air campaign".
"I certainly can't verify but I have seen a report that one of the pictures came from a video game.
"So again, that is pretty consistent with what we have seen come out of Russian MOD as being baseless, inaccurate and completely false."
Earlier this year Russian media accused President Vladimir Putin of passing off footage of the American military fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan as the efforts of Russia's air force in Syria during a television interview.
The Kremlin denied that Putin had shown the wrong footage to the American director Oliver Stone during one of a series of interviews.
Hawija, Iraq (AFP) Nov 11, 2017
Mass graves containing at least 400 suspected Islamic State group victims have been found near the former jihadist bastion of Hawija in northern Iraq, the regional governor said Saturday. The string of grisly discoveries was made at a military base around three kilometres (two miles) from the city that the jihadists "turned into an execution ground", said Kirkuk governor Rakan Said. "No ... read more
The Long War - Doctrine and Application
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|