Fact Check: 2009 video of US airstrike falsely shared as Pakistan’s crackdown on BLA militants

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Pakistan’s second-largest naval air station, PNS Siddique in Turbat, Balochistan, came under attack on the night of March 25. Reportedly, during the attack by the Baloch Liberation Army, at least one paramilitary soldier and five militants were killed.

Now, a video allegedly showing Pakistani forces shooting down the BLA attackers has been widely shared online. An X user wrote, “Footages of BLA Terrorist Pakistan Zindabad,” alongside hashtags “Turbat” and “Balochistan”. Its archive can be seen here.

India Today Fact Check found that the viral video has been online since as early as 2009. It has nothing to do with the recent attack on the Pakistani naval air station in Turbat, Balochistan.

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We performed a reverse search on screengrabs of the viral video. This led us to the same video uploaded to YouTube on September 9, 2009. The video was titled, “Military US Helicopter Killing Terrorists HD.” This means the video predates the recent BLA attack by more than a decade.

We searched about this incident using keywords and found screengrabs from the viral video in several media reports. As per some reports, the footage allegedly shows US choppers across the then-war-torn Iraq. Several videos on YouTube claimed this to be an Apache helicopter operation in Iraq.

We also found the same video clip posted in June 2015 on the website “Military.com”, which publishes news and information about the United States military, veterans, and foreign policy. The video here was titled, “Apache Helicopter Engages Terrorists.” No further information was given in the article.

Apache helicopters are American twin-turboshaft advanced attack helicopters and are currently operated by several countries, including India, Japan, and South Korea. Currently, Pakistani forces do not have an Apache fleet, so using them against the BLA insurgents in Balochistan would be impossible.

No video had been released by Pakistani authorities about the BLA attack at the time of publishing this story. So, while India Today could not independently verify the actual location of the viral video, it’s more than clear that it has nothing to do with the recent BLA attack on a Turbat naval air base in Pakistan.

(Written by Ashish Kumar)

Published On:

Mar 27, 2024

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