According to the Russian MoD, Washington planned to "recover their combat capabilities,", so they could be used elsewhere in the Middle East as proxy forces on the Americans' behalf.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ministry posted a statement on its Facebook page saying the US 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.
When Russian's Ministry of Defense first tweeted out the "evidence", they did so in multiple languages, but not all of those are available any longer.
After military research site Conflict Intelligence Team and investigative website Bellingcat showed the images actually came from a 2015 computer game titled AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron and 2016 US war footage from Iraq, the ministry removed the post and explained its gaffe.
The original is consistent with a June 2016 Iraqi military video, which shows coalition airstrikes and Iraqi military forces attacking an ISIS convoy fleeing Falluja. After the images were called out by sharp-eyed readers on social media the Ministry of Defense immediately began taking the posts down.
That video was originally posted in 2015, and shows a development preview for the simulator. "However, the US command's refusal to carry out strikes on the convoys of ISIL terrorists retreating from Albu Kamal on November 9 is an objective fact reflected in the transcripts of the talks and therefore, fully known to the USA side", Interfax news agency quoted the ministry as saying.
Moscow has previously accused Washington of "pretending" to fight IS in Iraq, allowing jihadists into neighboring Syria where Russian Federation and the U.S. have backed opposing sides in the bloody conflict. Moscow has never admitted any civilian casualties of its air raids.