FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Plane Full Of Afghan Men On Its Way To The US?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a plane full of Afghan men heading to the U.S from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Verdict: False

The image was taken in 2018 and shows Afghan refugees being deported from Turkey back to Afghanistan.

Fact Check:

Kabul was taken over by the Taliban on Aug. 15, prompting thousands to attempt to flee the city, according to USA Today. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country just before the Taliban took over, the outlet reported. The U.S. has since been trying to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghan allies from the city, according to the Associated Press.

One image shared on Facebook claims to show a plane full of Afghan men who have been evacuated from Kabul, on their way to the U.S. “First Kabul Flight is Coming to Swing State/s near you…NO masks?” reads the photo’s caption. “Afghan women and children are left behind.”

The image, however, is over three years old and is unrelated to the current crisis in Kabul. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the picture in an April 2018 article from Turkish state-run media outlet Anadolu Agency bearing the headline, “Turkey deports 778 Afghan refugees.” The article explains that hundreds of Afghan refugees who illegally crossed into Turkey were detained and deported back to Kabul in one weekend.

“Some 324 Afghan refugees, who had entered Turkish territory illegally, were turned over to the Provincial Directorate of Immigration in Erzurum,” reads the image’s caption on Anadolu Agency. (RELATED: Did CNN Describe The Taliban Takeover Of Afghanistan As ‘Violent But Mostly Peaceful’ In A Chyron?)

Genuine images and videos of the current crisis in Kabul can be found on BBC News, with one photo showing 640 Afghans packed into a U.S. C-17 military cargo plane as it leaves Kabul.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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