An ‘exclusive’ video claiming to show Pakistan’s air force supporting Taliban forces in Afghanistan has turned out to be footage from mil-sim game Arma 3.
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As caught by fact-checker Mohammed Zubair on Twitter, footage posted by Republic claiming to show the “Pakistan army supporting Taliban against [the] Northern Alliance in Panjshir” was actually clipped from an Arma 3 video posted in January 2021. The clip – while much lower quality – is from a video showcasing an A-10 Warthog jet versus an anti-air tank in the game.
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) September 6, 2021
PC Gamer reports that the footage appeared on Indian news channels Republic TV, Times Now Navbharat, Zee Hindustan and TV9 Bharatvarsh and claimed to show Pakistan’s air force engaged in battle over the Panjshir valley, where some of Afghanistan’s military forces still hold out against Taliban forces.
A Bohemia Interactive representative has told PC Gamer that while the clip “is so cropped and low-res” that it’s hard to identify an exact video, they are “confident it is Arma 3 footage”. The representative adds that this isn’t the first time that footage from Arma 3 has been picked up and reported as a real-world event:
“Strangely, we’ve seen this particular game footage be used several times by certain media outlets in support of their real-life news coverage. We know this because we’ve been previously approached regarding similar occurrences by fact-checker from organizations such as Agence France-Presse, Check Your Fact, PolitiFact, and if I remember correctly, also Reuters.”
Despite reporting the footage as exclusive, Republic blames Hasti TV for the error and states “the erroneous video sourced to Hasti TV has since been deleted from our official handles”.
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