December 23, 2021

False: The video doesn’t show the Ethiopian Army using armed drones in the ongoing war

HAQCHECK

the image is taken from video footage that was first posted on Aug 31, 2017

Avatar: Kirubel Tesfaye
By Kirubel Tesfaye

Kirubel works as a fact-checker at Addis Zeybe for HaqCheck. He is interested in learning and expanding his writing and journalistic skills.

False: The video doesn’t show the Ethiopian Army using armed drones in the ongoing war

A YouTube channel named African-Insider, with more than 210 thousand subscribers has posted a video captioned, “How armed drones helped turn the tide in Ethiopia’s war” on Dec 13, 2021. By the time this article was published the YouTube video had more than 77 thousand views with more than 200 reactions.

However, HaqCheck has investigated the video footage and rated it as FALSE.

On Dec 20, 2021, TPLF’s spokesperson Getachew Reda said in his tweet that they have completed the withdrawal of their forces from the Amhara and Afar regions. Later On this day, Tigray television reported a breaking news that the Federal Government bombed Maichew and Korem towns killing 18 civilians.

Following TPLF’s announcement of withdrawal, Debretsion Gebremichael sent a letter regarding the current situation of the war to the U.N.Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, proposing an immediate ceasefire to be followed by negotiations. 

“I have ordered those units of the Tigray Army that are outside the borders of Tigray within immediate effect,” Debretsion said in his letter.

A prominent TPLF commander General Tsadkan Gebretensae said in an interview with the Newyork times that, “Swarms of drones appeared overhead, striking soldiers and supply convoys. At one time there were 10 drones in the sky, we were an easy target.”

In the same context, different international media including African-Insider are publishing a story in support of the claim that “Foreign drones Tip the balance in Ethiopia’s Civil war.” 

HaqCheck has interrogated the screenshot taken from the video and learned that one of the video footage doesn’t show Ethiopian Air forces conducting a drone attack on mountainous areas in the northern part of Ethiopia. The video was published by the channel to support this claim.

A Google reverse image search of the screenshot shows that the video footage was first posted on Aug 31, 2017, on ABC News, with the title “US and allies display military might in direct response to North Korean missile test.”

First Footage

Second Footage

On ABC News’ article, a photo of the second footage was captured by US Pacific Command USINDOPACOM (United States Indo-Pacific Command) that is in charge of using and integrating United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps forces within the USINDOPACOM area of responsibility (AOR) to achieve U.S. national security objectives while protecting national interests.

Joint military training was undertaken to counter North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile tests. The U.S. and ROKAF (The Republic of Korean Air Force) aircraft then flew across the Korean peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the Pilsung Range training area.

Even though there are several claims that the Federal Gov’t has used armed drones at the battleground, the video footage doesn’t show or prove that the Ethiopian government used armed drones during the war. Therefore HaqCheck rendered the claim FALSE.