(Photo Credit: Infinity Ward)
The latest installment of the Call of Duty (CoD) video game franchise Modern Warfare 2 (2022), includes a campaign mission involving members of the fictional UK-based Task Force-141 to “take down” an opposition general in a manner reminiscent of the 2020 assassination of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Qassem Soleimani.
In the first five minutes the new Call of Duty has you pilot the missile that kills Soleimani lol
— drunkenly eating the silica pack in a bag of jerky (@websiteidi0t) October 20, 2022
The first five minutes of the first story mode mission, “Strike,” involves the player controlling a missile strike against an Iranian General’ Ghorbrani,’ Commander of Iran’s Quds Force, who resembles Soleimani. As for thecharacter’s surnamer, it is almost identical to Iran’s Commander of the Army Aviation, General Yousef Ghorbani.
The new #CallofDuty starts with assassination of General Solimani
So the player has to kill him in order to start playing
They have changed the name but..#TerroristUSA pic.twitter.com/dhn5uIlmfp
— Soureh 2 🇮🇷🇵🇸 (@Soureh_design2) October 22, 2022
During the opening mission, Ghorbrani is taking part in an arms deal with the Russians in a desert terrain on the outskirts of the fictional city of Al-Mazrah, having a similar aesthetic to Baghdad, Iraq.
Former US president Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Major General Soleimani, along with the Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, on 3 January 2020, killing them both in a drone strike outside Baghdad International Airport.
The CoD franchise has previously received heavy criticism for pushing propaganda as a recruitment technique by the US military.
Several media outlets described the series as portraying “military intervention as the only serious form of foreign policy” and promoting a “shoot first, ask questions never mindset.”
Moscow prohibited its sale of the previous installment of the Modern Warfare sub-franchise released in 2019, which revolved around Russia’s brutal occupation of the fictional West Asian country Urzikstan. Experts indicated that this story element is analogous to Russia’s intervention in Syria.
The Kremlin slammed the game’s depiction of the military conflict in Syria, with Russian network Rossiya claiming the game is “a provocation aimed at discrediting Russian troops who help Syrian authorities.”
Back in 2009, the first iteration of Modern Warfare 2 contained a mission that involved working with a Russian terror group, in which players were able to kill civilians at an unnamed Russian airport, causing controversy in Russia and other countries where the game was sold. Moscow’s chamber of Parliament added the game to the list of extremist materials.