Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
There is no evidence that the plane was fake.
The U.S. has flown more than 82,000 people out of Afghanistan in recent days.
A widely shared Facebook post claims that a plane with the U.S. Air Force insignia, shown in a photograph evacuating people from Afghanistan, is fake.
The plane evacuated hundreds of Afghan citizens fearing the Taliban. There is no evidence that it is fake.
The photo shows a plane with the words "U.S. Air Force" emblazoned on the side. In the foreground is a mass of people, including a man closest to the camera with both arms in the air.
The photo appears to capture an image from a news video that the Washington Post says was taken by Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwari Aug. 16. It showed a U.S. Air Force cargo plane that was taxiing at the Kabul airport. Some 640 Afghanistan civilians reportedly made it onto the plane, while others desperately attempted to grab onto the plane’s exterior as the plane began to depart.
The plane had been surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians, the Air Force said in a statement, so "faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft," the crew "decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible."
In one of the largest airlifts in U.S. history, the U.S. flew 82,300 people out of Kabul between Aug. 14 and the afternoon of Aug. 25, according to official figures. These included a mix of U.S. citizens, green card holders, recipients of a special immigrant visa for helping the U.S. military or diplomats, refugees, and people seeking temporary humanitarian parole.
Afghans who are cleared to fly to the U.S. are brought to military bases, where vetting continues.
We rate the post False.
Facebook, post, Aug. 20, 2021
PolitiFact, "How are Afghan refugees being vetted? Here’s what we know," Aug. 25, 201
Reuters, "Fact Check- Image shows real plane at Kabul airport, not inflatable decoy," Aug. 20, 2021
Reuters, "Human remains found in landing gear of military flight from Kabul, says U.S. Air Force," Aug. 17, 2021
Air Force Magazine, "USAF Investigating Remains Discovered on C-17 After Leaving Kabul," Aug. 17, 2021
Washington Post, "More than 600 Afghans cram into one U.S. transport flight, as thousands flee Taliban," Aug. 17, 2021
YouTube, NBC News video, Aug. 16, 2021
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.