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Unrelated visuals are falsely shared as Pakistani jets used on resistance forces in Panjshir

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With the Taliban claiming victory over opposition forces in the Panjshir valley, a video and a couple of photos are being shared on social media as Pakistani jets’ presence amidst the ongoing fight between resistance forces in Panjshir and the Taliban. Let us fact-check the claims made in the posts.

Video: (archived)

Claim 1: Video of Pakistani Jet used on resistance forces in Panjshir recently.

Fact: The video is of an F-15 fighter aircraft from Mach Loop, Wales in the United Kingdom. Mach Loop is notable for its use as low-level training area for fast jet aircraft. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

When looking into the video, a Twitter user’s reply was that the jet was an F-15 and that the Pakistan Airforce doesn’t have any F-15s.

When reverse image search is done on the screenshots of the video with relevant keywords (taking the cue that this jet is an F-15), we found a similar YouTube video with the same terrain. The YouTube video is of an F-15 flying in the Mach Loop, which is in Wales, United Kingdom.

The terrain in both the videos looks the same. The curves of the roads are visible in the background of viral video and in the F-15 jet video flying at the Mach Loop.

The trees raised on the side of the mountain are visible in both videos. These are similar raised positions.

A Twitter user shared the location of the viral video in one of its tweets. He too says in the tweet that the alleged Pakistan fighter jet inside Panjshir valley is actually from Mach Loop, Wales.

There are many videos from Mach Loop, Wales which is notable for its use as low-level training area for fast jet aircraft. The videos can be seen here, here, and here.

Photos: (archived)

Claim 2: Photos of Pakistan’s helicopter and fighter jet downed in Panjshir recently.

Fact: The first photo is from a Wikimedia commons file dated 09 August 2002. It is a Pakistan Army helicopter at the Skardu Airport in Northern areas, Pakistan. The second photo is of an F-16 crash at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, United States of America in April 2018. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Photo 1:

When reverse image search is done on the photo, a Wikimedia commons file was found with the same image. According to the summary of the file, the helicopter in the image is a Pakistan Army helicopter at the Skardu Airport in the Northern areas, Pakistan. The date mentioned is 09 August 2002. The photo can be confirmed to be old as the same image was used in several articles written prior to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan (here and here).

Photo 2:

When reverse image search is done on the photo, a news article published on 24 April 2018 with the same image was found. The photo is of an F-16 crash at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, United States of America. News reports about the incident can be seen here and here.

On 06 September 2021, the Taliban claimed victory over the Panjshir valley, a stronghold of the resistance forces. The Taliban declared the complete takeover of Afghanistan and promised to announce a government soon. However, the resistance forces have denied claims by the Taliban that they have completely captured Panjshir. The National Resistance Front (NRF) leader Ahmad Massoud called for a ‘national uprising’ against the Taliban after their claims.

Though Pakistan denies supporting the Taliban, it is well known that there is a close affiliation between Pakistan and the Taliban which gives credence to the claims about Pakistan’s support to the Taliban taking over Panjshir. However, these photos and videos are not related to the recent resistance in Afghanistan.

To sum it up, unrelated photos and videos are falsely shared as Pakistani jets used on resistance forces in Panjshir.

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