In violation of a previously reached agreement, attack aircraft of the coalition entered the airspace over Abu Kamal to hamper the work of the Russian air force, the ministry said in a statement.
The images were later deleted from the ministry of defense's Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the ministry said several hours later that there had been a "mistake", and published a different set of pictures, calling them "irrefutable proof" of United States aid of IS.
"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 statement concluded.
The images are consistent with a mix of screengrabs from a number of clearly identifiable videos. While they took most of it out, you can still see "ALL CONTENT" at the top right. The Russian MOD, however, captioned it somewhat differently, suggesting that the image was captured on November 9, 2017, depicting an "ISIS automobile convoy leaving Abu Kamal for Syrian-Iraqi border".
The Iraqi military says it killed 440 ISIS fighters and destroyed 688 of their vehicles in that operation; coalition airstrikes destroyed about 175 additional ISIS vehicles.
"I certainly can't verify but I have seen a report that one of the pictures came from a video game".
AFP was able to compare the images in the emailed defence ministry statement with the images of the videogame on YouTube and confirm the resemblance. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway.
Researchers at Conflict Intelligence Team, a nonprofit group that investigates Russian military activities, subsequently reported that three other images shared by Russia as "irrefutable evidence" of USA forces assisting the Islamic State were actually taken from video released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in 2016.
Responding to Russia's allegations in remarks carried by Reuters, a spokesman for the US-led coalition Col Ryan Dillon said the Russian allegations were "about as accurate as their air campaign".