On 29 January 2020 a facebook post was shared by the account Sidaama Today (a personal blog with  17,248 followers) sharing the image below with the claim that a fighter jet of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) was shot down by Tigrian forces. The text which is written in Amharic reads “…. an Ethiopian fighter jet was shot by Tigray special [police] force during the ongoing war in Qola Tenben, Tigray…” However, Haqcheck interrogated the case and confirmed that the picture doesn’t show an Ethiopian fighter jet shot by Tigray special police force during the ongoing conflict, and rated it FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image to support the claim.

Since 4 November 2020 there has been armed fighting between the TPLF-led regional forces and Federal government-led forces in Tigray. The federal government has controlled the regional capital city, Mekelle on 28 November 2020. It has also recently announced that it was rapidly capturing senior civil and military officers of the TPLF. Some of the senior civil and military leaders of the TPLF-led force have also been arrested. But instabilities remain in the region during the post-conflict period.

It is in this context that the post was shared by the user making strong allegations that a fighter jet was shot by TPLF-led forces during the recent conflict in Qola Tenben, Tigray. However a reverse image search of the picture used in the post doesn’t prove the claim. The image was first published on 16 September 2017 on ScanNews, an Iranian digital newspaper. The newspaper used the image in a story of  a Russian-made US fighter jet  crash during a test flight in Nevada, USA. However, it didn’t say anything about the image whether it shows the mentioned crash or not. The original post can be accessed with the following link.

Granted, there are claims by the government the war is over and former TPLF leaders are indeed being captured at the time the facebook post was shared. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn’t show an Ethiopian fighter jet shot by Tigray forces recently during the current conflict and therefore rated it as FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image.

Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak

Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame

The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)

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