September 20, 2021

False: The video doesn't show military operation in the Afar front

HAQCHECKFact checking

HaqCheck found the original footage which is not from Ethiopia.

Avatar: Rehobot Ayalew
By Rehobot Ayalew

Rehobot is a lead fact-checker at HaqCheck. She is a trainer and a professional who works in fact-checking and media literacy.

False: The video doesn't show military operation in the Afar front

Video circulating on Facebook since September 17 posted by a page with more than 35,000 followers, reports, “We have received a video showing Afar heroes and the defense force expelling TPLF…” By the time this article is published the post has been shared more than 3800 times. 

However, the video in the Facebook post doesn’t show the claimed operation in the Afar front, and the post is rendered False.

On November 4, 2020, armed fighting started between TPLF and Federal Government forces in Tigray. In the ensuing conflict, the federal army has controlled major areas in Tigray, but there have been reports of armed battles and guerilla attacks in the region. 

Late last month the Ethiopian government, following a request from the Tigray Interim Administration, declared a sudden unilateral ceasefire with the supposition of its concern over humanitarian issues and immediately withdrew its forces from the mainlands of the regional state.

After the federal forces left the region, the TPLF-forces rebranded themselves as Tigray Defense Forces (TDF), taking control of urban centers of the regional state.

The TPLF-forces have been advancing southwards and southeast, moving out of the heartlands of Tigray. Recently armed clashes have been reported in border areas adjacent to Tigray, such as Amhara and Afar regional states.

The Facebook post was circulating amid this situation.

However, a reverse image search of screenshots from the video shows the video was neither from Ethiopia nor shows a recent incident. The footage found shows an operation between the Saudi-led forces and Yemen forces in the Jizan axis, Saudi Arabia border, on May 29.

The footage

Given the result of the aforementioned analysis, the post claiming to show an operation in the Afar front is rendered False.