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False: The image does not show a helicopter shot down by Tigrayan forces

Avatar: Naol Getachew
Naol GetachewNovember 11, 2021
HAQCHECKFact checking
False: The image does not show a helicopter shot down by Tigrayan forces

A verified Facebook page called ‘Tigray People's Liberation Front/TPLF/’ with more than 600,000 followers shared a post claiming that “The Hero Tigray Army downed a military helicopter and burned it this morning in Mile front...”. An image attached to the post, to support the claim, shows a burning helicopter. Until this article was published, the post had been shared more than 400 times and received more than 2 thousand reactions in an hour. 

However, the HaqCheck could confirm that the image doesn’t show a Helicopter downed due to the recent war and rated it FALSE

Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) forces and the Federal Government of Ethiopia have been in an active war in northern Ethiopia Since November 2020.  Last November, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the Defence Force to Tigray to oust (TPLF) from power. In June, TPLF took control of Mekelle, the regional capital. 

The war has widened its scope recently. It is being reported that TPLF is continuing its expansion towards the neighboring Amhara and the Afar Regional States. Several media outlets are reporting that the Tigrean forces are advancing to take over the capital, defeating the federal and allied forces.

In the saga of controlling the capital and crippling the government by TPLF, taking over key towns and strategic areas is eyed by the force as basic. In this context lies the town of Mille, a district in Afar Regional State, strategically important to control the main road connecting the country to Djibouti. However, HaqCheck has undertaken a reverse image search of the pictures to learn that the Image doesn't actually prove the claim. The image was posted for the first time by The Time on October 23, 2016, in an article entitled “I was blown up and trapped by Isis guns”. 

The Original image

Therefore, HaqCheck confirmed that the image does not show a helicopter taken down at Mille, by the Tigrayan forces; it is rather an image taken four years before the war began.

Given the discussed reasons, HaqCheck rendered the claim as FALSE.

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A PIECE BYNaol Getachew

Naol is a journalist and fact-checker at Addis Zeybe for HaqCheck. He is a professional working in the fields of fact-checking, journalism, online storytelling, and translation.