Video Game Footage Falsely Shared as US Military Plane Crash in Afghanistan

Mon Dec 18 2023
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NEW YORK: A video circulating on social media, allegedly showing a US military plane crashing in Afghanistan, has been debunked as false. The clip, garnering thousands of views, was falsely presented as real footage, accompanied by a claim that a US C-130 Hercules, allegedly given to the Taliban in 2021, had crashed in Afghanistan.

However, fact-checking reveals that the video is, in fact, a creation from a battlefield video game called Digital Combat Simulator.

The misleading post, shared on X (formerly Twitter), shows a plane emitting black smoke as it circles above a field, with an off-camera voice heard shouting “Allah-o-Akbar” as the aircraft crashes. Several similar posts emerged on X, and while some users correctly identified it as video game footage, others believed it to be an authentic incident.

US, Plane, Video Game, Afghanistan, Crash, Social Media, X, Twitter, Military Aircraft, Digital


AFP’s investigation found that the clip was posted on a YouTube channel called ‘iceman_fox1,’ which regularly shares computer-generated imagery of military planes. The video’s description explicitly states that it was “filmed with Digital Combat Simulator.”

Digital Combat Simulator is a well-known battlefield video game that simulates military aircraft, tanks, ground vehicles, and ships.

Lance Ulanoff, the US editor-in-chief of technology news site TechRadar, pointed out telltale signs that the video was not authentic, citing the unnatural appearance of the smoke emitted from the plane and the post-explosion smoke plumes. Ulanoff noted that these features looked grainy and disappeared too quickly, characteristic of computer-generated imagery.

Despite the false claims circulating on social media, there have been no reports or evidence of a US military plane crash in Afghanistan in 2023. The incident showcased in the video is a result of creative content within a video game, not an actual event.

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