The Afghanistan takeover by the Taliban has caused chaos in the country as well as abroad. The headlines are changing as the situation evolves by the hour. Photos and videos of people trying to flee the country has sent shockwaves across the world, and there are rescue operations underway from different countries, including India. One particular photo has gone viral on social media as Indian users have shared a photo of a packed C-17 aircraft, claiming to be of 800 Afghanis airlifted from Kabul.
Many Indian users are sharing a photo showing the inside of a cargo aircraft, which is packed with hundreds of people crammed into the closed space. The photo is shared with the caption, which claims the Indian Air Force airlifted 800 people from Kabul.
"IAF C 17 with 800 people airlifted....a record. That's a train load almost. The previous highest was 670. This is from Kabul Airport this morning," the posts read.
The posts also claim that the IAF, in doing so, has set a record, surpassing the previous highest of 670 people. The posts claimed that the IAF C-17 aircraft was inbound India from Kabul airport.
After the viral videos showing people holding on to moving planes, massive crowds at Kabul Airport tarmac, the photo of a packed C-17 aircraft was received with little doubt. In fact, many lauded India for the rescue efforts and standing by the Afghan citizens at the time of crisis.
International Business Times reviewed the claims made. Although India is also participating in evacuating people stranded in Afghanistan as a part of its ongoing efforts, the image shared by many users online is totally unrelated. We explain how.
Firstly, when you zoom into the image, not a single person is seen wearing traditional Afghani attire. The people in the aircraft look East Asian and not West Asian. Digging deeper, a reverse image search of the image shows the photo first appeared in 2013.
The Pacific Air Forces, Major Command of the United States Air Force, had published the image on December 17, 2013, when it had airlifted 670 Tacloban residents on a C-17 Globemaster III following Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines Nov. 17, 2013.
Since both the US and India had sent C-17 aircraft for evacuation from Kabul, many people easily believed this viral image to be related to the ongoing operation. However, the photo from 2013 is being falsely shared with false context.
IBTimes has arrived at the conclusion that IAF did not airlift 800 Afghans from Kabul in a C-17 aircraft and an old photo is being shared with misleading context.