"The Russian Defense Ministry is investigating its civil service employee who erroneously attached wrong photo illustrations to its statement on interaction between the US-led global coalition and Islamic State militants near [Al-Bukamal], Syria", the ministry said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.
The ministry claimed in a Facebook post and tweet on Tuesday that the picture showed an "Isis automobile convoy" fleeing Abu Kamal, Syria, under United States protection on November 9.
Earlier this year Russian media accused President Vladimir Putin of passing off footage of the American military fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan as the efforts of Russia's air force in Syria during a television interview.
The images were taken from a video published online by the Iraqi military in June 2016, showing a joint US-Iraqi mission that attacked an ISIS convoy outside Falluja.
The allegations are extremely grave, but may be harder to take seriously given the "irrefutable proof" offered in the form of photographic accompaniment.
Users were quick to notice that one of the images was taken from a video game named "AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron". After the images were called out by sharp-eyed readers on social media the Ministry of Defense immediately began taking the posts down.
The photographs have been deleted after the fact-checking organisation Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) accused the ministry of using a video game screenshot and old conflict photographs. However, a cached version of the post is available that shows the post with the photographs.
But none of the images are from Abu Kamal, and none are from Nov 9.
This isn't the first time the Russian government has been caught distributing fake or misattributed video. A scene in a documentary about Putin made by the USA film-maker Oliver Stone showed Putin playing the director video footage on a telephone of what he said were Russian forces on operations in Syria.
"The defense ministry is looking into a civilian employee of one of the departments who attached photos to the defense ministry's statement by mistake", a new statement was quoted by Russian agencies as saying.