FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Resistance Fighters Shooting Down A Pakistani Jet In Afghanistan?
A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows anti-Taliban resistance fighters shooting down a Pakistani jet in Afghanistan.
The video does not contain genuine footage of a Pakistani jet getting shot down. Instead, it shows gameplay from a video game called ARMA 3.
The Taliban claimed on Monday to have taken control of Panjshir Valley, where the last bastion of resistance against the militant group has been located since Afghanistan’s government and military collapsed, according to BBC News. The resistance group, the National Resistance Front, has refuted that claim, though the Taliban released imagery allegedly showing its men occupying the capital of the province, Al Jazeera reported.
The Facebook post purports to show the National Resistance Front shooting down a Pakistani jet at night, with the caption saying in part, “The National Resistance Forces have shot down a #Pakistani warplane during the battle in #Panjshir.” Similar allegations about the video have circulated on Twitter as well.
A reverse image search of key frames showed the video dates back to at least August 2020, before the Taliban gained control over Afghanistan. It can be found posted on YouTube, where the description links the footage to ARMA 3, a video game developed by Bohemia Interactive and released in 2013. A comparison of the graphics in the video in question to YouTube videos of other ARMA 3 gameplay showed the style of graphics matches.
Check Your Fact didn’t find any national news outlets reporting that the National Resistance Front recently shot down a Pakistani-owned plane in Panjshir Valley. In the title of the YouTube video from which the Facebook footage seems to have originated, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, nicknamed the “A-10 Warthog,” is mentioned. That plane was developed for the U.S. Air Force, according to Northrop Grumman.
Some news channels in India aired another video that purportedly showed a Pakistani Air Force plane attacking opposition fighters in Panjshir Valley, The Quint reported. That footage also came from ARMA 3. (RELATED: No, This Image Of Afghan Women Chained Together Is Not Real)
Social media users previously shared ARMA 3 gameplay footage along with inaccurate claims that it showed Israel’s air defense system, according to Reuters and India Today.