Media Check

Republic TV, TV9, Zee Hindustan air video game clips as Pakistan Airforce attack in Panjshir

Written by Md Mahfooz Alam

Panjshir Valley located north of Kabul is a province in Afghanistan that did not fall into the hands of the Taliban. After the fall of Kabul on 15 August, the vice president Amrullah Saleh sheltered in Panjshir and declared himself caretaker president of Afghanistan. Saleh along with Ahmad Massoud the leader of the National Resistance Front announced they will resist the Taliban from Panjshir.

There has been fierce fighting going on between the two fronts. The Taliban has been trying to capture Panjshir before announcing its government. However, on Monday, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed in a press conference that they have won the battle of Panjshir Valley and the war in the country has ended.

Several media outlets of Indian aired a video game clip with the claim of Pakistan airforce in cohort with Taliban attacking the National Resistance Front in  Panjshir.

Republic TV aired the video with the caption: “Pakistan army supporting Taliban against Northern Alliance in Panjshir”. The anchor in the video claims they have accessed Hasti TV exclusive footage of the Pakistani airforce attack in Panjshir.

TV9 Bharatvarsh also aired a similar video with the claim of it being the Pakistani airforce. The clip of the video game can be seen after 5:30 minutes.

Times Now Navbharat and Zee Hindustan also aired the video game clip. However, they have now taken down the video.

(Source: BOOM/Screenshot)

(Source: BOOM/Screenshot )

FactO Check:

The footage of the video game as the Pakistani airforce attack was first aired by Hasti TV—an Afghan news channel based in the United Kingdom. Faran Jeffery, who describes himself as an expert in reporting and analysing terror incidents and conflicts, tweeted the Hasti TV video as the “exclusive footage” of the Pakistan drone attack on the rebels in Panjshir.

However, he also tweeted: “The video is from a video game and is currently being shared by pro-resistance accounts as proof of claims that Pakistani drones are attacking Panjshir. I thought I should have some fun. Let’s see how many idiots here share this video with a straight face.”

Taking the cue from Jeffery’s tweet, we searched the video using the relevant keywords and found that the viral video is from the video game Arma-3. An YouTube channel uploaded the video on 1 January 2021 with the caption: “ArmA 3 – A-10 Warthog vs Anti-Air Tank – Missiles and Tracers firing – GAU-8 Avenger – Simulation”.

The clips of visuals aired by Republic TV can be seen in the video game after 1:38 minutes in the YouTube video below.  Republic has now taken down the video from its social media channels.

The TV9 Bharatvarash video is still on Twitter even after being flagged by several users and fact-checkers. The same visuals can be seen in the below video.

The English news channel Times Now also broadcasted another video clip of an American jet with the claim of the Pakistani Airforce jet soaring in the sky of Panjshir to aid the Taliban in crushing the rebel of the National Resistance Front.

George Allison, the editor at UK Defence Journal, fact-checked the claim of Times Now. He tweeted that the jet in the video is an “American jet flying through Welsh valleys”.

George Allison wrote a fact-check story for the journal in which he says that the clip broadcasted by Times Now is a clip of an American F-15 flying through the Mach Loop in Welsh.

We also found a video uploaded on YouTube of F-15 flying in the Mach Loop. The video has the same visuals as aired by the Times Now.

(With inputs from BOOM Live and Alt News)

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About the author

Md Mahfooz Alam

Mahfooz is a multimedia journalist and regularly writes fact-check stories for Facto News. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked as an intern fact-checker for The Quint. He specializes in research and fact-checking and aspires to do investigative reporting.

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