Iran’s state television has been running impressive footage claiming to show ace Hezbollah fighters picking off fighters from the Islamic State group (IS) one-by-one with clear, cold precision. But here’s the thing: this video looks just like a scene from a video game. And it is…
The voices speaking in Arabic in the video are supposedly a team of crack Hezbollah snipers from Lebanon. One of the men is holding a gun with a thermal scope. The video is zoomed in on the scope and you can see him shoot down the dark figures of enemies in rapid succession.
The Iranian media was awash with titles like "Hezbollah sniper kills Daesh combattants [Editor’s note: Daesh is another name for the IS group]", "Hezbollah sniper hunts down Daesh brutes” and "Six Daesh combatants are killed in 2 minutes by a Hezbollah sniper”. The website of the state television service was amongst those who shared the video.
Mizan News, a press agency close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, even added extra information to their coverage: they alleged that the Hezbollah commandos were using the Arash, a 20-calibre anti-material rifle made in Iran.
But something about this video doesn’t seem right. That’s because the footage is actually from the video game Medal of Honor. Several details show this.
First of all, when this imaginary commando kills a supposed IS group terrorist, a little symbol pops up in the bottom of the screen. It’s exactly the same symbol that appears in Medal of Honor when a gamer shoots his enemy in the head (“a headshot”).
Screengrab of the video that the Iranian media claimed was authentic
Secondly, while the soldier is shooting, you can see the words "Mfou” and "Wfou” written at the bottom of the screen. These stand for the different visors that players can use in Medal of Honor.
The video is actually a scene taken straight from the video game - the only thing that has been changed is the contrast.