FACT CHECK

FALSE: These images do not show a TPLF training center being hit by an airstrike

The images have been online before the Tigray conflict began in November 2020.

These images shared on a Facebook page with more than 25,167 followers, claiming to show Adibukray, a Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) training centre in Adi Hageray, being hit by an airstrike is FALSE.   

The Amharic text accompanying the image translates, “The Adibukrai TPLF terrorist training centre in the Adi hageray area was hit by an air force. With this training, the junta is currently training a large number of militants recruited for terrorist missions”.

The conflict between the government of Ethiopia and forces in the northern Tigray region has been ongoing since November 2020.  In recent months, the war in Tigray has spread into the Amhara and Afar regions.

Fighting has escalated in Amhara, where the TPLF and the government both claim control over the territory. A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the air force was targeting a training centre used by the TPLF rebel group. On 28 October 2021, an Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) airstrike destroyed the second part of Mesfin Industrial Engineering in Mekelle, a facility used by TPLF for maintaining its military equipment. 

However, Google reverse image search results show that the first image was published on the ABC News 4 website with a caption that reads “An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) flies by during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base on November 17, 2015 in Indian Springs, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)”.

On the other hand, Google reverse image search results for the second image reveal that it was used online before the Tigray conflict began in November 2020. The photo was published on the Firstpost website on 8 April 2015, alongside an article titled “US approves $952 mn sale of helicopters and missiles to Pakistan”.

Arts tv has looked into images shared on Facebook claiming to show Adibukray, a TPLF training centre in Adi hageray, being hit by an airstrike and finds them to be FALSE.

This fact-check was produced by Arts tv in partnership with Code for Africa. This fact-check was written by an Arts Tv fact-checker Kindalem Mesfin.

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