Pakistani Twitter handles shared an edited screenshot, to falsely claim that Indian Army and media outlets passed off old war footage from Syria as the Indian Army destroying bunkers at the Line Of Control between India and Pakistan.
On November 13 news channels including India Today and NDTV aired a video showing a bunker being destroyed and said that the video is from the Line of Control (LoC) where the Indian Army destroyed Pakistani bunkers in response to an ceasefire violation.
According to reports four Indian soldiers, one BSF jawan and at least four civilians were killed on November 13 along the Gurez and Uri Line of Control in an unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan. There were casualties in the Pakistan side as well. Read here and here.
The tweets feature a screenshot of a footage showing moments before the destruction of a bunker and text beneath it that reads "+ 18 I Battles for Syria I June 9th 2019 I Jihadists attack Al Qasabiyah, South Idlib ..."
One such tweet takes a dig at the defense correspondents from India for sharing unverified information. Click here to view an archive of the tweet.
Another Pakistani anchor, Mubasher Lucman, who according to his bio specialises in investigative journalism, also tweeted the screenshot as proof that the video released by India as recent cross-border tensions was old and unrelated.
Several Indian netizens also misleadingly accused media outlets for sharing the unverified footage based on the doctored screenshot featuring the YouTube description of the Syrian battle.
BOOM ran a reverse image search on few of the keyframes of the footage of bunker destruction and was directed to only recent videos uploaded on or after November 13.
We further found that the video was tweeted by the official handle of Chinar Corps on November 13, 2020, the same day it was aired by news outlets. Chinar Corps is a unit of the Indian Army which is currently located in Srinagar and responsible for military operations in the Kashmir Valley.
The tweet by Chinar Corps claimed the video showed moments of retaliation by the Indian troops after an alleged unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in several sectors along the LoC. The video is among other footage that showed damage of Pakistani ammunition bunkers and terrorist launch pads. We reached out to Colonel Aman Anand, army spokesperson, who corroborated the footage shown in the video.
Additionally, a search on YouTube of the text on the viral screenshot led us to an unrelated video of bombings in Syria.
We then ran a YouTube search for the text on the viral screenshot "+ 18 I Battles for Syria I June 9th 2019 I Jihadists attack Al Qasabiyah, South Idlib .." and found results for a video of bombings in Syria. The video uploaded on June 9, 2019, is a compilation of graphic footage showing bombings in Syria.
An analysis of this 15 minute long footage showed that the viral screenshot tweeted by the Pak handles was not visible anywhere in it. BOOM also watched the video footage frame by frame but could not find a frame which featured the viral screenshot.
We ran further searches for the same screenshot with the viral text but did not find the both of them used together on any site. This showed that the text box had been edited into the image to falsely claim that the footage of Indian Army destroying bunkers across LoC is old and from Syria.
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