Hyderabad: A video of a grounded helicopter is viral on social media. Users claim that the Taliban is learning to fly an abandoned American chopper in Afghanistan.
"Post US exit - a helicopter is being towed by a pickup somewhere in Afghanistan," reads the caption.
Click here to view the post.
Another Facebook page posted the video with a caption, "Taliban "Helicopter Flight Training" #KabulAirport".
Bengali news channel Zee 24 Ghanta also aired the viral video with a similar claim. The video can be seen on its Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The claim is false.
NewsMeter performed a reverse image search on one of the keyframes of the viral video. It was used by Turkish news outlet `Yeni Akit' on June 4, 2020. This shows that the video has been available on the internet a year before the Taliban militia took control of the Kabul airport.
We translated the Turkish article, the video shows a capture of the Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopter by the Government of National Accord (GNA), an interim government for Libya formed in 2015 and dissolved in 2021.
We also found an article by the Russian news outlet `Lenta' on June 5, 2020. It said forces of the GNA in Libya captured the Mi-35 helicopter belonging to the Libyan National Army (LNA) under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
The Mi-35 helicopter was captured at the airport of the Libyan capital Tripoli. The footage was uploaded on the Military Informant Telegram channel. BOOM also found a tweet by international relations and security expert Abdullah Ağar from June 5, 2020, carrying the same video. The translation of the tweet reads, "The irony of war. Look at the crash of the multi-million dollar Mi-35 attack helicopter with deadly firepower. Like a broken tripod! From those recovered from Halfer."
We found an article by Russia's Piter.TV published on June 5, 2020. "Libyan government captured Field Marshal Haftar's Mi-35 helicopter," reads its headline.
An excerpt reads, "The Libyan government has acquired the Mi-35 of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
This was announced on the evening of June 4 by representatives of the Military Informant Telegram channel. According to information from journalists, the Government of National Accord was able to hijack a helicopter that belongs to the forces of the Libyan National Army."