Following a series of bomb blasts at the Kabul airport in which 13 US service members were killed, the US carried out drone strikes in Kabul. It is in this light, a set of social media posts (here, here & here) are being shared claiming these to be of airstrikes in Kabul. Let’s fact-check the veracity of the videos of the post.
Claim: Videos of US airstrikes in Kabul.
Fact: Although the US has carried out strikes following the Kabul airport blast, these videos have nothing to do with these strikes. While a video is actually a GIF of a drone strike, another video is a mini documentary about MQ-9A, designated as ’Reaper’ by the U.S. and Royal Air Force. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE
The visuals actually show a GIF. Reverse image search of the screenshots of the visuals led us to GIFs similar to these visuals available on multiple popular websites. One such GIF was uploaded on gfycat.com website back in 2017.
Another website gifer.com also carried a similar GIF. With this, we can conclude that the visuals from this drone strike GIF are converted to video format and shared as those from US airstrikes in Kabul.
Reverse image search of the screenshots of the video led us to the same video on Aparat, an Iranian video-sharing service like YouTube. The video is uploaded in 2019 with the title ‘Afghan Army missile attack on Taliban headquarters.’ Though we could not find the exact context of the video, the availability of the video on the internet shows that the video has nothing to do with the latest US drone strikes in Kabul.
Reverse image search of the screenshots of the video led us to a similar video on YouTube which carried similar visuals. A 12-minute long video on ‘US Military Power’ YouTube channel carried exactly the same visuals. The video is uploaded on this channel back in 2017 with the title ‘MQ-9 Reaper UAV: The Most Feared USAF Drone in the World’.
Another YouTube channel called ‘American Partiot news’ uploaded a 23-minute long video which carried similar visuals back in October 2020. The title of the video reads ‘MQ-9 Reaper: The Most Feared U.S. Air Force Drone in Action’. From these videos, we can conclude that the video is a mini-documentary about MQ-9A which is designated as ’Reaper’ by the U.S. and Royal Air Force. The availability of the video on the internet tells us that the video has nothing to do with the latest US drone strikes in Kabul.
To sum it up, old and unrelated videos are passed off as those of recent US drone strikes in Kabul.