Indian new channel Republic has been showing footage from the video game Arma 3 claiming it to be proof Pakistan is aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The clip in question is one you can check out below, as it is being shared with millions of viewers via Indian news channel Times Now Navbharat. However, as has since been pointed out by factcheckers Boom, the clip doesn't show what the news channels are claiming it shows at all. In fact, it isn't even real-life footage. It has been lifted from the video game Arma 3.
Some of the images and videos coming out of Afghanistan over the past few weeks have been truly awful. Conflict is ongoing as the Taliban is in the process of taking back power over the nation following the withdrawl of Western troops. However, some of the clips circulating, both online and on news channels, are not necessarily being presented in the correct context, as this example proves.
Republic isn't the only Indian news channel to have shared the footage with viewers. TNN TV and Zee Hindustan have done the same, all reporting that the clip shows the Pakistani airforce aiding Taliban fighters in Panjshir Valley. What's left of the Afghan army has been holding out and fighting back against the Taliban in Panjshir.
The clip being used by various news channels appears to have been taken from the footage above. An Arma 3 video that was posted on YouTube all the way back in January of this year. As for which news source first claimed the footage was linked to the Taliban, that remains unclear. The clip being run by news channels features a Hasti TV watermark, an Afghan TV channel based in the UK.
However, Hasti may have gotten the clip from someone who appears to have been trying to play a very poorly thought out practical joke. Faran Jeffrey, who claims to be an expert in analysing incidents involving terror and conflicts, originally posted the clip claiming it to be exclusive footage of what various news channels have subsequently reported it to be. In a follow-up tweet, which you can check out above, they reveal the true source of the clip, and that they were just trying to have some fun by seeing how many people fell for it. A lot, as it turns out.