Fact Check: The Viral Photo Claiming To Be Of PAF Jet Shot Down In Panjshir Is Actually Fake

paf jet shot fake

Following the Taliban’s claim to have captured Panjshir, some Twitter accounts sharing a picture of a crashed F-16 jet, alleging a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jet shot had been shot down by resistance fighters in the Panjshir valley is fake. However, a fact check reveals the picture dates from 2018 in the United States.

A Twitter account purportedly claiming to belong to Ahmad Massoud, the son of legendary Afghan rebel commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, posted a photo of a military aircraft lying on the ground. “The Pakistani Jet Plane that was shot down by the lion cubs,” read the caption.

Image: Twitter

While the user deleted the photo, other accounts shared it as opposed to the Taliban as well. However, a Google reverse image search revealed that it is an old picture.

Interestingly, a Military.com article from April 2018 showed the picture was taken during a routine training mission near the Arizona-California border when a US F-16 Fighting Falcon jet crashed. In an article about the crash landing, the Iranian Fars News Agency featured the same picture.

Image: Military.com

Fake news about Pakistan’s military involvement in Afghanistan circulated on Monday as the Taliban claimed they had seized Panjshir province north of Kabul, the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan and the only province the Taliban had not yet taken.

Former vice president Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, whose father was killed just days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, led the anti-Taliban forces. In the past week, Indian media outlets continuously ran unverified reports. They claimed that PAF planes hovered over the Panjshir valley and dropped bombs on resistance fighters in support of the Taliban.

Check this out:

The Indian news agencies including Zee Hindustan and Republic TV provided footage that they claimed showed Pakistani drones attacking anti-Taliban fighters in Panjshir.

However, the viral clip comes from an extensive video recording of the video game Arma-3. It was not from the war in Afghanistan, according to fact-checking website Boom.

Image: Boom

Take a look at the clip:

In addition, another Indian news channel Times Now broadcast a clip that claimed to show a Pakistani fighter jet hovering over Panjshir. It cited the footage as proof of a “full-fledged Pakistani invasion” of Afghanistan.

Despite Panjshir’s geographical advantage, experts had doubted that resistance to the Taliban could succeed long-term. The Panjshir Valley nestles in the Hindu Kush mountains and has a single narrow entrance. More so, it allowed local fighters to resist the Soviets during the 1980s and the Taliban a decade later, under Massoud.

Following the US troop arrival in Islamabad recently, another fake image went viral. The photoshopped photo claimed the US troops to be staying at a “panahgah” [shelter home].

Meanwhile, the US troops have left Afghanistan, marking the end of a 20-year war that left the Taliban stronger than it was in 2001.

Story Courtesy: Dawn News

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