Alleged video of Pakistani drone in Panjshir is actually video game screen recording


Claim: Facebook page Shura e Nazar shared footage of a plane exchanging missile fire with a target on the ground with the caption “last night, a Pakistani drone crashed in the mountains of Panjshir.”

Fact: Soch Fact Check found the footage in question is in fact a screen recording from the video game Arma 3. This was confirmed by video game developers Bohemia Interactive, who produced Arma 3 in 2013.

Following US President Joe Biden’s April 2021 announcement of plans to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, Taliban attacks against the NATO-coalition supported Afghan government began to intensify, culminating in the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on 15 August 2021.

Fighting between the Taliban and resistance forces continues in pockets across the country, particularly the Panjshir valley. Some in the media have alleged the Taliban are receiving air support from Pakistan to combat the resistance forces led by Afghan politician and military commander Ahmad Massoud

On 6 September 2020, a facebook page called Shura e Nazar shared a video of a plane flying and exchanging missile fire with a target on the ground. The caption for the video was written in Dari and read:“last night, a Pakistani drone crashed in the mountains of Panjshir”

An online keyword search revealed that a segment of the video was originally shared by Hasti TV, a UK based digital media channel that reports on Afghan issues, along with the same claim as above. Hasti TV’s post has since been taken down.

The video from Shura e Nazar captioned “last night, a Pakistani drone crashed in the
mountains of Panjshir” uses the same footage as that shared by Hasti TV, further zoomed in. Pakistani Twitter users (pictured) and Indian news media including RepublicTV, Zee Hindustan and Times Now Navbharat also shared the video.

The video from Hasti TV was shared on Twitter. The video is in fact a screen recording depicting gameplay from the video game Arma 3. A representative for the game’s developer, Bohemia Interactive, confirmed in a statement to PC Gamer magazine that the footage is from their game.

The relevant article can be found here “Indian news channel uses Arma 3 gameplay footage to claim Pakistan bombed Afghanistan.

The Arma 3 developer told PC Gamer that “The clip in the [original viral tweet] is so cropped and low-res that I find it hard to compare and say for sure which it is, but I’m confident it is Arma 3 footage.”

Summary: Arma 3’s game developers confirmed that the footage in the claim is from Arma 3’s gameplay, not from the Panjshir valley. This can be confirmed by a quick visual comparison to footage from the game available online.

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