"These facts give indisputable evidence that the USA, which (pretends) before the world community an irreconcilable fight against worldwide terrorism, in fact provides cover for combat-capable IS units to restore their forces, regroup and be used for promoting us interests in the Middle East", the statement said.
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 U.S. is providing cover to IS combat units".
It turns out that the images that the account used actually came from a game called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron, a connection that was made over and over as more people recognized the similarities with a YouTube clip showcasing the game. In the top-right corner, you can see the beginnings of the statement from the video that claims the footage shown was work-in-progress gameplay and that all of the content shown is subject to change.
"The United States' refusal to carry out strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys retreating from [Al-Bukamal] 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 [Al-Bukamal]", the ministry added, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.
The Russian defence ministry attempted to pass off an image from a video game as "irrefutable evidence" that the U.S. was cooperating with Isil in Syria.
The military stood by its allegations saying "the refusal of United States command to inflict strikes on ISIL convoys on November 9 is an established fact recorded in the transcript of conversations".
The ministry posted five photos on its official social media accounts, along with a statement that accused U.S. troops of allowing IS militants to hide from Russian and Syrian air strikes.
"We need to focus on destroying our common enemy and not play games", it said.
If the idea of American forces in league with the Islamic State isn't absurd enough, it gets better: One of the screen captures was 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".
The Kremlin denied that Putin had shown the wrong footage to the American director Oliver Stone during one of a series of interviews.