An Egyptian daily newspaper called Al-Masry Al-Youm published a news report on Nov 23, saying, “Washington pushes three ships near the coast of Ethiopia to help its citizens in case the security situation deteriorates” 

The news was also shared on the official Twitter account of the newspaper, with more than 5.2 million followers. There are two different photos attached with the article on the website and the tweet. 

HaqCheck looked into the pictures used to support the report and rated it as FALSE.

Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) forces and the Federal Government of Ethiopia have been in an active war in northern Ethiopia Since November 2020.  The war escalated to a more tensioned level recently when the TPLF forces controlled some major cities in the Amhara Regional State. With the intensification of the conflict, a number of embassies including the US embassy in Addis Ababa urged their citizens in Ethiopia to leave the country due to security concerns.

Major General William Zana, commander of a US joint task force of the Horn of Africa told BBC on Nov 12, that the US force is ready to respond to Ethiopia’s crisis to assist evacuation, if necessary. 

On the other hand, an article published by CNN states, referring to a military official, that the US military is positioned in Djibouti to provide assistance to the US Embassy in Ethiopia if the situation worsens. It also adds that “three amphibious warships currently in the Middle East — the USS Essex, the USS Portland, and the USS Pearl Harbor — have been on standby and could be used for potential civilian evacuation efforts.”

The news was shared in this context.

A phrase reads in the news, “three ships near the coast of Ethiopia. Nevertheless, Ethiopia is known to be a landlocked country bordered by Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Somaliland (Somalia) and has no coast. This is the first factual error found in the news at the beginning.

Moreover, HaqCheck interrogated the images used in support of the claim.

Tineye search of the first image shows that the image was first taken on June 18, 2006, showing US ‘Exercise Valiant Shield 2006’ around the Pacific ocean. The image can be found here

Tineye search of the second image shows Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force. The image was taken on Oct 18 2015 by a Reuters photographer. The image can be found here.

HaqCheck rated the factual error found in the news and the inaccurate images used to support the claim, as FALSE.

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