Video Doesn’t Show America’s Afghan Allies Being Executed by Taliban

A genuine video of people being executed in 2013 was re-shared as if it were related to summer 2021 events in Afghanistan.

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Image via Twitter

Claim

A video shows Afghanistan soldiers who had aided the United States being executed by the Taliban in the summer of 2021.

Rating

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Context

This is a real video of people being executed, but it was not related to events in Afghanistan in 2021. This video dates back to 2013, and was reportedly taken in Syria.

Origin

On Aug. 24, 2021, Jarome Bell, a Republican politician running for a congressional seat in Virginia, shared a disturbing video on Twitter, along with the claim that it showed a group of Afghanistan soldiers who aided the United States being executed by the Taliban. 

Bell wrote: “These men assisted our troops and were left behind with over 15000 Americans. This will be Joe Biden’s legacy and the democrats and some of you approve of this message.”

As the video Bell posted features a genuine execution, we won’t post it here. Instead, here’s a screenshot of Bell’s tweet

But this video is not recent, and it was not taken in Afghanistan. 

It was posted to Liveleak back in the spring of 2014, and supposedly shows an incident from a few months prior in Syria. The Liveleak video is no longer available (the site was dissolved in May 2021) but a contemporaneous Blogger post stated that the video showed Syrian soldiers who had been guarding a hospital in Aleppo

While we can’t verify the specifics of the video, the Organization for Democracy and Freedom in Syria did release a statement in March 2014 after the video originally went viral:

In the video, the men are seen kneeling on the ground with guns pointed at their head, several shouts are heard before the first man is killed with a single shot to the head.

All the others are then slaughtered in cold blood one by one. Their lifeless bodies are then riddled with bullets.

Commenting on the video, ODFS Director, Ribal Al-Assad said:

“Words cannot describe how disgusted I am with the actions of these rebels, how can anyone treat another human being in such a horrific way? These are people who have no respect for the sanctity of life, they are barbaric and heinous individuals who will stop at nothing to achieve their perverted aims, evidently massacre is second nature to them.”

In short, this video is real but it is not related to the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. This video is from 2013, and appears to show an execution in Syria.