Fiction or News: Have American Forces Been Seen in Kandahar Recently?

Published On: June 3, 2023Categories: Fact Check

On May 31, a Twitter account @HADIANews claimed that US special forces have been seen in Kandahar province. The blue-tick verified account, which is self-described as being run by a “freelance journalist”, has over 6,000 followers. Hadia News tweeted this claim based on an undisclosed source and added that the Taliban provided security for the convoy of these forces to Kandahar Airfield. It also published a picture of what appears to be the back of soldiers on a tarmac with an open aircraft for boarding.

Fact Check:

  • Since the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in August 2021, there have been no signs of American forces present in Kandahar.
  • The photo that Hadia News posted is an old photo from 2015. It is not clear if HadiaNews believed it to be a realistic photo of current events or knew that it was an old one and is using it as a sort of clickbait or illustration.
  • The new Hollywood movie “Kandahar.” On June 1, another Twitter user posted an image from a scene of the new movie “Kandahar” and captioned it as “Kandahar 2023.” This is the name of the movie and the release date. However, such images and captions have sparked reactions among Twitter users, with some believing the image to be authentic and assuming the presence of American forces in Kandahar. 
  • It’s important to note an increase in foreign civilians in Afghanistan

Several official sources have openly stated that the recent influx of Western civilians into the country has increased compared to the previous year. These sources indicate that these foreign individuals, who are non-military, either work for humanitarian organizations or have visited Afghanistan for tourism purposes. It is worth noting that among these foreigners, there could also be former military soldiers. However, there is no concrete evidence of the current presence of Western military forces in Afghanistan.

  • Twitter user @HADIANews might be making this claim for two reasons: either they believe an unverified source, or they believed the source and think the pictures from the movie “Kandahar” backed it up. However, there is no evidence of the presence of US special forces in Afghanistan, particularly in Kandahar. When such claims are made, it is necessary to conduct further research to ascertain the truth and expose any falsehoods, which does not appear to have happened.
  • It is important to exercise caution and rely on verified information. It should be noted that a portion of the movie “Kandahar,” which depicts a CIA officer’s mission in Afghanistan, was filmed in Saudi Arabia.

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