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No, This Video Doesn't Show Taliban 'Taking Over Presidential Palace in Kabul'

The 2015 video was Syria's Idlib when the rebels captured the north-western city.

Updated
WebQoof
3 min read

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta

A video showing people firing their guns in the air and shouting 'Allahu akbar' (God is great) on the streets has been shared by several Facebook users with a claim that it shows the Taliban taking control of the Presidential Palace in Afghanistan's Kabul.

This claim comes a day after Taliban fighters entered Kabul and seized the Presidential Palace. President Ashraf Ghani has fled the war-ravaged country as Taliban leaders call for a 'peaceful transfer of power'.

However, we found the video that is being shared with the claim dates back to March 2015 and was from Idlib, Syria. The video was shot shortly after a coalition of Syrian rebels captured northwestern city of Idlib from the pro-government forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

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CLAIM

The caption along with the viral video said, "With the Taliban in control of the Presidential Palace in Kabul and the US Ambassador fleeing to the airport, Taliban have won the war."

The caption was shared with the '#breaking'.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/533L-M8SQ">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)

Several other Facebook users shared the same video with similar captions, archives of which can be found here and here.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

While going through the video, we noticed that the flag seen at various points in the viral video was not the Afghan flag but the Syrian flag.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Comparison between the flags.</p></div>

Comparison between the flags.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Next, we fragmented the video into several keyframes using InVID WeVerify Google Chrome Extension, and conducted a reverse image search on some of them.

While going through the search results, we came across a video posted on Orient TV's YouTube channel. The video, which was posted on 29 March 2019, was captioned, "Unforgettable moments from the history of the Syrian revolution, the liberation of Idlib."

Orient TV is an Arabic news channels which publishes news focused on Syria.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A link to the video can be found <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHRzw-bSTq0&amp;ab_channel=%D8%AA%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B2%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%86%D8%A3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%AAOrientTV">here</a>.</p></div>

A link to the video can be found here.

(Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

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Taking a clue from the caption, we conducted a keyword search for 'the liberation of Idlib' and found a longer version of the video posted on a YouTube channel called 'DE3TNA'.

The YouTube channel carried more videos from from the same location talking about the 'liberation of Idlib'.

The video posted on 28 March 2015 was titled, "Binnish City Coordination documents the first moments of the liberation of Hanano Square." The viral video can be seen starting from 1:15.

We also found a news report published in Al Jazeera that talked about the incident. The report titled, "Syrian rebels capture Idlib city in joint offensive", carried clips from the viral video. A report is France24 also talked about the development.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/H3H8-4DZ9">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

We also found a tweet from 2015 that carried screenshots of the viral video. The tweet was captioned, "#Syria: moment Islamist rebels reach the Hanano square in the south of #Idlib city."

While the viral video is not from Afghanistan, it is important to note that Talibani fighters have indeed taken control of the Presidential Palace in Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani left the country.

According to the Talibani officials, they are waiting for a "complete handover of power". The Quint has been covering the crisis in Afghanistan extensively and the stories can be found here.

Evidently, an old video from Syria was shared with a false claim that it showed the recent situation in Afghanistan's Kabul.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Published: 
Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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