A photo of a helicopter was shared in several posts in January 2022, alongside a claim showing a Myanmar military helicopter shot down by a rebel group. Myanmar has been in chaos since the February 1 coup that overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The image, however, was shared in a false context: it has been circulating in news reports since 2001 on a Bulgarian Air Force helicopter during a national military exercise.
The photo was shared here on Facebook on January 9, 2022.
It was shared more than 170 times.
The post claims that the image shows a Myanmar military helicopter shot down in the village of Daw Mu Kler near Loikaw, the capital of Myanmar’s Kayah State.
“It is said that a military helicopter was shot down by the Karenni Nationalities Defense Forces (KNDF) today at 8 p.m. and caught fire near the village of Daw Mu Kler,” the caption read. in Burmese of the message.
Screenshot of misleading post, taken January 11, 2022
The photo circulated online shortly after some Burmese-language media reported that the KNDF shot down a Myanmar military plane on January 8, 2022.
The attack was reported by Radio Free Asia here and DVB here on January 8, 2022.
The KNDF released a statement on the alleged attack along with photos of various weapons here on its Facebook page on the same day.
The image also circulated alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here, and on Twitter here.
The image, however, was shared in a false context.
A reverse image search on TinEye – followed by a keyword search on Google – found this photograph published by the Reuters news agency in 2001.
Below is a screenshot of the photo on the Reuters website:
Screenshot of photo on Reuters Pictures website
The caption reads: “A Bulgarian Air Force MI-24 combat helicopter strikes during a military exercise at the military base near the village of Koren, about 160 km south of Sofia, September 27, 2001.
“Bulgaria, which borders the Black Sea, Romania, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Greece and NATO’s easternmost member Turkey, hope to receive an invitation to join NATO at the alliance’s summit. scheduled for November 2002 in Prague.”
Below is a screenshot comparing the photo in the misleading post (L) and the Reuters image (R):
Comparison of screenshots of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the Reuters image (R)
The photo was also posted on the Alamy stock photo website here with the same caption and credit.