The evidence that Russia came forward with on Twitter was said to be "irrefutable proof" of collusion, but those who saw the tweets from the Russian Ministry of Defense Twitter account swiftly pointed out that the proof wasn't as irrefutable as it claimed.
The ministry claimed in a Facebook post and tweet on Tuesday that the picture showed an "Isis automobile convoy" fleeing Abu Kamal, Syria, under USA protection on November 9.
With the ruse exposed, other users and national security experts were quick to point out that the rest of the photos shared by the Russian Defense Ministry were also fakes [1, 2].
The ministry said it would investigate the incident, which it said was caused by a civilian employee, but did not say how or why the pictures used were incorrect.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ministry posted a statement on its Facebook page saying the USA air force had tried to hinder Russian strikes on Islamic State militants, accompanied by satellite photographs it said showed a vehicle convoy of Islamic State militants leaving the Syrian town of Albu Kamal on November 9 2017.
The ministry's crop of the image even contained parts of the disclaimer text in the top right-hand corner, presumably left by the developer, which read: "Development footage".
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Earlier Tuesday, the MoD uploaded images on Facebook and Twitter, which it said were evidence that the U.S. were actually covering up Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL) combat units. This is a work in progress. The statement wasn't even fully cropped out of the images that Russian Federation tweeted.
It said the US-led coalition refused requests to cooperate and "eliminate fleeing Isis convoys".
On Tuesday, Russian state-owned media outlet TASS blamed the ordeal on a "civil service employee".
"The claim itself is actually ridiculous", Kofman said, with a laugh. "So, again that is pretty consistent with what we have seen come out of Russian MoD, as being baseless, inaccurate and you know, completely false", he said.
Coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon called those claims, "about as accurate as their air campaign".