An image from the game ‘AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron’ has been used by the Russian defence ministry as ‘irrefutable evidence’ of cooperation between US forces and Islamic State militants in Syria.
The photographs appeared on Facebook posts from the official account posted on Tuesday morning, which accused the US of providing air cover for an Islamic State convoy with the aim of using the fighters to further US interests.
“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 propaganda’s connection to the two-year old game was discovered by people on Twitter and laid out in a post by Bellingcat researcher Eliot Higgans, currently a visiting scholar at King’s College. Another of the images used was taken from an existing Iraqi Ministry of Defense video.
The game, developed for smartphones and shown in videos posted by what appears to be a now-defunct company, allows users to destroy enemy vehicles from the controls of the AC-130.
The posts for both Twitter and Facebook were deleted (a web cache of the Facebook page is available).