The AFP reports (picked up by Polygon) that the French military has issued a statement saying that an unnamed French soldier acted inappropriately when he wore a scarf around his face with a grinning skull similar to the character Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley from Call of Duty.
The soldier was photographed by AFP photographer Issouf Sanogo in central Mali where French troops are currently fighting against terrorist forces in the country. The man apparently donned the scarf to avoid getting blasted in the face from sand by a helicopter coming in for a landing.
"This image is not representative of France's actions in Mali," French military spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard said at a news conference.
The photograph also received a negative response from the French media, with France Metro running the photo with the headline: "Mali: un soldat se croit dans un jeu vidéo" (Mali: a soldier believes he is in a video game). On Twitter, critics called the soldier "shameful," according to Polygon.
Colonel Thierry Burkhard says that the army is working to identify the masked man. Interestingly enough, the skull on the scarf is not actually based on anything in a video game - Call of Duty developers Infinity Ward based the image on real-life soldiers wearing something similar in combat...