The picture offered by the Russian protection ministry was damning: three Islamic State vans led by an armored automobile on their method to a key battlefield in jap Syria, allowed secure passage by the United States.
Russian drones, its overseas ministry stated on social media, noticed the convoy Abu Kamal on Nov. 9, the identical day Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces stated they captured the important thing militant stronghold on the Euphrates River. Their secure passage was “irrefutable evidence” the United States permits Islamic State to wreak havoc to satisfy their pursuits within the area, the ministry stated on Facebook and Twitter.
But in case you’re a gamer excited about air fight simulators, you could have already seen the convoy earlier than you gunned downed digital enemies in your laptop display whereas enjoying AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron, launched in 2015 by the Byte Conveyor sport studio.
The sport, developed for smartphones and proven in movies posted by what seems to be a now-defunct firm, permits customers to destroy enemy automobiles from the controls of the AC-130, the navy’s go-to plane for shut air help and floor strikes utilizing weapons that rework the airplane into a chunk of artillery with wings.
How the screenshot ended up within the mixture of infrared pictures posted by the Russian protection ministry is unclear. But the posts for each Twitter and Facebook had been deleted (an internet cache of the Facebook web page is offered). Similar messages are nonetheless discovered on the ministry’s Twitter feed. Conflict Intelligence Team, a bunch of newbie digital sleuths that tracks Russian operations in Syria, concluded different pictures within the submit had been from a June 2016 video of Iraqi airstrikes on ISIS positions in Fallujah.
The pictures “represent just one more episode of a recurrent pattern of defamation, distortion, distraction that seeks to discredit the U.S. and our successful coalition fight against ISIS in Syria,” Marine Corps Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, stated in an announcement Tuesday, referring to an acronym for Islamic State. Galloway stated the episode comes at a wierd time following a Saturday joint assertion from Presidents Trump and Vladimir Putin, which highlighted efforts by the nations to deconflict Syrian airspace with a view to keep away from collisions and different mishaps.
“To date, the Syrian regime and Russian Federation have not demonstrated long-term success in ridding large pieces of terrain from ISIS influence, then establishing the conditions necessary to prevent terrorists’ return,” Rankine-Galloway added.
Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition to defeat Islamic State, informed reporters Tuesday the Russian picture was “about as accurate as their air campaign,” riffing on accusations Russia has carried out airstrikes with out concern for civilian deaths. Rights teams have accused the United States for growing civilian deaths in Raqqa within the operation to rid Islamic State militants from their de facto capital.
There is a grain of fact to U.S. efforts to permit passage to fleeing ISIS fighters, although it’s extra difficult than permitting militants to depart.
A Hezbollah-brokered deal in September allowed militants and their households to move from the Lebanon-Syria border towards the Syria-Iraq border. U.S. warplanes cratered the freeway to choke blunt their escape and lure them within the open, even releasing Hellfire missiles to strike fighters leaving the convoy to urinate in the course of the two-week standoff.
“If we have a clean shot against an ISIS fighter, we take that shot,” Rankine-Galloway stated.
Ironically, the Russians requested U.S. officers to permit their passage, by which it reluctantly accommodated.
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