Old video does not show 'Myanmar military helicopter shot down by anti-junta forces'

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A 2021 video of a helicopter crash landing has been viewed thousands of times in social media posts falsely claiming it shows Myanmar's anti-junta forces shooting down a Burmese military helicopter in February 2023. The video was shared after local reports that the fighters had shot down a military plane in Myanmar. But the clip has circulated in media reports since at least November 2021 about an Indian air force helicopter that crash-landed in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The video of a helicopter crash landing in what appears to be a rural area was published here on Facebook on February 5, 2023.

The person filming the footage then rushes towards the helicopter with at least one other person. No gunshots are audible.

The clip's Burmese-language caption translates as: "Video of the moment the People's Defense Forces brought down a Burmese military helicopter during a battle in Homalin on February 3."

It has been viewed more than 9,700 times.

Screenshot taken on February 8, 2023 of the misleading post

Homalin is a town located in the Sagaing region in Myanmar's northwest.

The video was shared after Burmese media reported that anti-junta forces shot down a military plane on February 3, 2023, two days after the second anniversary of the military coup.

Myanmar's military seized power on February 1, 2021, ousting the civilian government and arresting its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Following its putsch, the military has clashed with established ethnic rebel groups and dozens of "People's Defence Forces" that sprung up to fight back against the coup.

More than 2,800 people have since been killed in the junta's bloody crackdown on dissent, according to the United Nations, while thousands more have been arrested.

The helicopter crash video has been shared alongside a similar false claim on Facebook here, here and here.

Old video

A combined keyword and reverse image search on Google showed that the video has been shared online in India since November 2021.

The original video was tweeted by Asian News International (ANI), an Indian news agency headquartered in New Delhi, on November 18, 2021.

The tweet's caption reads, "#WATCH video of the Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter that crash-landed near a helipad in Eastern Arunachal Pradesh today with two pilots and three crew members. All of them are safe with minor injuries."

The video -- credited to "a local person" -- shows the helicopter slowly descending before crash landing.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the images from the false post (left) and the images from the ANI video (right):

Screenshot comparison of the images from the false post (left) and images from the ANI video (right).

Indian news outlet EastMojo also published the video on the same day, alongside an article that reads "IAF helicopter crash lands in Arunachal’s Anjaw district".

It was also published here in a similar report on November 19, 2021 by the YouTube channel for The Hindustan Times, an Indian English-language newspaper based in Delhi.

AFP has previously debunked misleading claims related to helicopter crashes in Myanmar here and here.