Russia's Defense Ministry earlier on Tuesday published photographs that it said proved that USA forces refrained from launching airstrikes against forces of the Islamic State terror group as they fled Syria's Al Bukamal.
But, as online sleuths discovered, Russia's photos are far from irrefutable proof.
On Tuesday night (NZ time) the country's defence ministry accused the Americans of providing air cover for an Isis convoy with the aim of using Isis fighters to further USA interests.
The US refused to conduct airstrikes over the leaving IS convoy.
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The US-led anti-ISIS coalition "tried to disturb" the Russian aviation in Abu Kamal to enable the jihadists to escape.
They said the USA had refused to help, even allowing Isis to regroup by providing cover for them from Russian airstrikes, The Guardian reported.
"The defence ministry is looking into a civilian employee of one of the departments who attached photos to the defence ministry's statement by mistake", a new statement was quoted by Russian agencies as saying. To this aim, the coalition's attack aircraft entered the airspace over the 15-km zone around the city to hamper the Russian aircraft' mission, it said.
"These facts are conclusive evidence that the United States, while imitating an uncompromising fight against worldwide terrorism for the global community, in fact provides cover for Islamic State units", the defense ministry said.
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"The Syrian troops" rapid offensive in Abu Kamal has derailed the U.S. plans to set up "pro-American' authorities to govern the territories on the eastern bank of the Euphrates uncontrolled by the Syrian government", the ministry said. "The U.S. 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".
Militants of the Islamic State acting under the guise of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could act as the local "pro-American forces" allegedly controlling the city.
"I would say the Russian Ministry of Defense statements are about as accurate as their air campaign".
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