Russia ‘faked image’ to accuse US
THE Russian defence ministry has been accused of creating fake news by asserting that the US was cooperating with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in Syria.
It attempted to pass off an image from a video game as “irrefutable evidence” of a Us-isil link with a Facebook post and tweet yesterday that showed a picture of an “Isis automobile convoy” fleeing Abu Kamal, Syria, under US protection on Nov 9. In fact, it was taken from a 2015 promotional video showing AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron, a mobile game in which players fire at ground targets from a US warplane.
The discovery was made by Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, an investigative website, who noticed a large red “fire” button in the corner had been cropped out of the picture.
Another image purporting to show the same convoy in Syria was actually taken from a 2016 video published by Iraq’s defence ministry, of an Isil convoy fleeing Fallujah, investigators found. The Russian ministry post with the fake images claimed: “This is the irrefutable evidence that there is no struggle against terrorism as the whole global community believes. 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 defence ministry later removed the images. But Russian state media was already republishing the fake pictures and reporting the claims as fact.