As Taliban announced its 'complete capture' of Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley, a variety of visuals allegedly showing aircrafts over the valley were shared on social media.
However, we found that the visuals were actually from Machynlleth Loop, popularly known as the 'Mach Loop' in Wales, United Kingdom. The area is often used by fighter jets as a place to practice low-flying.
The aircraft in the video has been identified by several user as a F-15 fighter jet, whereas Pakistan's Air Force only uses F-16s and F-17s.
In a now deleted tweet, news channel Times Now aired a clip of a fighter jet, saying:
"1st visuals of a fighter jet, allegedly belonging to Pakistan, hovering over #PanjshirValley in Afghanistan."
The same clip was also included in their 4 pm headlines bulletin and was uploaded to their verified Facebook page. The channel has issued a clarification for airing the incorrect visuals.
WHAT WE FOUND
While looking into the clip, we came across a tweet by user '@KesariDhwaj', who noted that the video was from Mach Loop, a place in Wales that is famous for spotting planes, and not Afghanistan. The user also identified the plane as an F-15 fighter jet.
Taking a clue from here, we looked up videos of F-15 fighter jets at the Mach Loop. While we were unable to find an exact match, but we noticed that the terrain in the videos uploaded by various verified YouTube channels was the same as the terrain seen in the Times Now clip.
Here, one can see a patch of divided green land with surrounding shrubbery in frames from both videos.
Similarly, the curvature of the road visible in the background matches in the clip aired by Times Now as well as the video of a jet flying at the Mach Loop.
Additionally, we also found similarities on the side of the mountain, where similarly raised portions are visible in both videos. A view of the area on Google Earth can be seen here.
The similarity in terrain between the visuals shared as Panjshir and videos of F-15 fighter jets flying in Wales' Mach Loop can be easily noticed in many videos uploaded on the internet.
Evidently, the clip aired by Times Now, which was also shared by social media users, is not from Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley. The footage shows a F-15 fighter jet flying low at Mach Loop in Wales.
(Update: The story has been updated to reflect that the channel has issued a clarification.)