FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Fleeing The Country?
A video shared on Twitter purportedly shows Afghan President Ashraf Ghani boarding a plane to leave as the Taliban took control of the country.
Fleeing the #Taliban .. the moment Afghan President #Ashraf_Ghani left his country pic.twitter.com/MNKpXdq2if
— ماجد الأنصاري (@majedalansary91) August 15, 2021
The video, which was filmed in July, actually shows Ghani departing for a trip to Uzbekistan.
Taliban forces quickly took power over most of Afghanistan as U.S. soldiers withdrew from the country, BBC News reported. On Aug. 15 Taliban forces took over the capital city Kabul, resulting in Ghani fleeting the country, according to the outlet.
An Aug. 15 tweet includes a brief video clip of Ghani walking up stairs toward a plane’s open door and waving. The tweet accompanying the video reads, “Fleeing the #Taliban .. the moment Afghan President #Ashraf_Ghani left his country.” (RELATED: Did Obama Order A Drone Strike On A Wedding That Killed 10 Women And 23 Children?)
The video does not, however, show Ghani fleeing the country. Check Your Fact found the video posted on Twitter on July 15 by the Afghan media outlet TOLOnews, a month before the Taliban took over Kabul. The July 15 tweet includes the text, “President Ashraf Ghani left Kabul this morning for a two-day visit to Uzbekistan, the Presidential Palace said.”
A July 15 Afghan government press release about Ghani’s departure to Uzbekistan includes a photo of Ghani waving on the stairs in front of what appears to be the same aircraft shown in the video. The press release explained Ghani was visiting Uzbekistan for the International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity; Challenges and Opportunities.”
While it’s uncertain where exactly Ghani fled to, a senior official in the Afghan Interior Ministry stated on Aug. 15 that he had departed for Tajikistan, Reuters reported, while India Today stated on Aug. 16 that Ghani had been barred from landing there and was currently in Oman.