Old visuals from Taliban military parade falsely linked to recent Iran-Afghanistan clashes

By: Rahul Adhikari
June 6 2023

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Old visuals from Taliban military parade falsely linked to recent Iran-Afghanistan clashes


The Verdict False

The video shows a military parade held by the Taliban in Afghanistan on August 31, 2022. The parade and its elements were not intended to mock Iran.

Claim ID a9a7fbb6

On May 27, 2023, a clash broke out between Iran and Afghanistan at the border, leaving at least two Iranian guards and one Taliban fighter dead. Al Jazeera reported that while the reason for the fresh clashes remains unknown, they have raised fears of a new conflict. Both sides have accused each other of initiating the shooting. The fighting comes amid rising tensions fuelled by Iran's accusation that Afghanistan's Taliban regime is restricting water flow to Iran's eastern regions in violation of a 1973 treaty.

After the clash, several videos and posts have surfaced on social media claiming to be related to the conflict. One such video has been circulating on Twitter, claiming that the Taliban is teasing Iran by displaying water canisters during a parade. The video shows a motorcycle parade in which the pillion riders are carrying yellow canisters, which the posts insinuated were purportedly filled with water to irk Iran. 

In Fact
We noticed that the viral video has the logo "MyAFG" in the top left corner. Taking a cue from this, we found an extended 17-minute-long version of the video uploaded on a YouTube channel called ‘My Afghanistan’. The video published on September 5, 2022, is titled “ The 9 Spike of the Passing Ritual of the Emirate of Salami (translated from Persian)”. The footage of the viral video can be spotted between 16:40-16:54 in the YouTube video.

The motorcycle rally was also seen in another video published by a YouTube channel called Al Hijraj on September 12, 2022. The video was captured from a different angle and showed the same motorcycle rally during a parade, with a few of the pillions carrying yellow-colored canisters. The title of the video implies that it was recorded during a military parade, while the description, when translated, stated that it showed a parade held in honor of the first anniversary of the independence of Afghanistan.

Al Jazeera had reported on August 31, 2022, that the Taliban celebrated the first anniversary of the U.S.-led forces' departure from Afghanistan by organizing a military parade in Kabul. The military parade also showcased equipment left behind by foreign troops, the report said. The United States had invaded Afghanistan in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks. The U.S. withdrawal was completed shortly before midnight on August 30, 2021, as the Taliban took over after a 20-year war against the US-led forces.

BBC News Persian also shared a video on their Facebook page on August 31, 2022, depicting the same bike rally with some pillion riders carrying the yellow containers. According to the description of the video, translated from Persian, the Taliban announced a public holiday on the occasion of the departure of the last American soldier from Afghanistan and held a military parade at the Bagram base in the country. The video claimed that a significant number of Taliban motorcyclists carrying yellow canisters joined the military parade. The caption of the video also explained that such explosives-filled canisters were in the past used by suicide bomber units of the Taliban to attack foreign forces.

Logically Facts reached out to a journalist based in Afghanistan, who clarified that this video did not show the Taliban using barrels of water to mock Iran. According to the journalist, who did not wish to be identified, said, "This video is from 2022 and shows a military parade held at Bagram base in Parwan province, Afghanistan. The yellow canisters showcased in the parade represent canisters filled with explosives that the Taliban used to target military convoys, bridges, culverts, roads, and both military and civilian locations. These containers of explosives were predominantly utilized by suicide bombers or Taliban suicide units."

The Verdict
A 2022 video of a military parade by the Taliban, celebrating the one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, has been falsely shared as a recent incident. The viral video was captured long before the recent Iran-Afghanistan clashes broke out, and the yellow canisters in question were not intended to mock Iran. Therefore, we mark this claim false.

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