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  • 22.07.2018

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Big problem with Russia’s ‘proof’
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22.07.2018

Big problem with Russia’s ‘proof’

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Earlier this week, the Russian Ministry of Defence released a series of photos on social media they claimed were “irrefutable evidence” the US was working with Islamic State.
In the post, Russia accused the US of providing aircover for Islamic State militants and refusing requests to “eliminate fleeing IS convoys”.
But it turns out the photos they used as “proof” were not taken from the location and time they said they were.
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In fact one of the images was a screenshot from a video game called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special OPs Squadron.
The caption above the photo claimed it was taken on November 9, 2017 and showed an IS automobile convoy leaving Abu Kamal for the Syrian-Iraqi border.
“This is the irrefutable evidence that there is no struggle against terrorism as the whole global community believes,” Russia’s Ministry of Defence wrote in the post.
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“The US are actually covering the IS combat units to recover their combat capabilities, redeploy and use them to promote the American interests in the Middle East.”
Eagle-eyed social media users were quick to point out that it was identical to a still from a promo video for the 2015 game.
Part of the text from the video was even visible in the cropped imaged the Russian page used, reading: “Development footage. This is a work in progress. All content subject to change.”
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It appears the other images were also not from the dates and locations claimed by the Russian Ministry of Defence, but rather many of them were taken from videos filmed in Iraq in 2016.
A group of Russian online investigators who routinely fact check claims made by Russian forces called the Conflict Intelligence Team, revealed that a number of the photos were screenshots of the Iraqi air force bombing an IS convoy last year.
The Russian Ministry of Defence has since removed the disputed photos from their social media pages and updated it with new images, which they say also prove their claims.
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In a statement to Russian state-owned media outlet TASS, the ministry said the wrong images appearing on the social media page was the fault of a “civil service employee”.
“The Russian Defence Ministry is investigating its civil service employee who erroneously attached wrong photo illustrations to its statement on interaction between the US-led international coalition and Islamic State militants near Abu Kamal, Syria,” the statement said.
“The United States’ refusal to carry out strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys retreating from Abu Kamal is a fact recorded in the transcripts of the talks and, therefore, well known to the American side, just as the active counteraction by US aircraft to the Russian Aerospace Forces, which were ready to destroy ISIL terrorists who were regrouping for new attacks against government troops near Abu Kamal.”
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