These pictures shows a joint US-Indonesian military exercise in Indonesia
Seven pictures have been shared in multiple posts on Facebook, YouTube and blog sites alongside a claim that they show US soldiers arriving in Myanmar on the 8888 Uprising Memorial Day on August 8, 2021. The claim is false. The pictures in fact show US soldiers taking part in a joint military exercise in Indonesia in August 2021. AFP found no credible reports that US troops have arrived in Myanmar.
The photos were shared here on Facebook on August 9, 2021.
The post had been shared more than 2,200 times before it was removed.
The Burmese-language caption of the pictures translates as: "US troops arrived by air somewhere in Bago Region of Myanmar."
It continues: "We must win. It is not coincidence they [the troops] arrived on a day like the 8888 Memorial Day. Please do not give them garlands or water bottles if you see them for yourself. Source: my two eye balls."
Bago Region is located northeast of Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar.
"The 8888 Memorial Day" refers to the anniversary of the August 8 1988 pro-democracy uprising, which brought Aung San Suu Kyi to prominence.
The pictures also appeared with a similar claim in this YouTube video, which has been viewed more than 51,000 times.
The claim, however, is false.
Reverse image searches on Google found the photos were published on official Facebook pages belonging to the US army in posts about Garuda Shield 2021, a joint military exercise between the US army and the Indonesian army in August 2021.
The first photo in the misleading post was posted here on the Facebook page of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division on August 5, 2021.
The post's caption reads: "The Falcons continue to support U.S. Army Pacific exercise #GarudaShield2021. Over 500 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers alongside their Indonesian Army Partners jumped into Indonesia. #AirborneInteroperability"
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the photos posted by the US army (R):
The second to fifth photos were published here on the 82nd Airborne Division's Facebook page on August 5, 2021.
The post's caption reads: "As #GarudaShield continues, Paratroopers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division flew from Guam to Indonesia, rigged in-flight and jumped in with Indonesian Paratroopers. #AirborneInteroperability #AATW #LGOP".
Below are screenshot comparisons of the photos in the misleading post (L) and the photos posted by the US army (R):
The sixth and seventh photos were published here on the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division's Facebook page on August 7, 2021.
The post's caption partly reads: "U.S. Army Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division conducted a joint forcible entry operation alongside Indonesian Army paratroopers at Batu Raja Training Area, Indonesia, during exercise #GarudaShield2021."
Below are screenshot comparisons of the photos in the misleading post (L) and the photos posted by the US army:
The Garuda Shield exercise, held from August 1 to 14 2021, in three locations in Indonesia, is the biggest US-Indonesian joint military training in history, Indonesian media reported here, here and here.
Multilingual keyword searches found no credible reports of US troops arriving in Myanmar in August in 2021.
AFP has debunked another false claim that the United Nations, supported by the US and other countries, has "declared war" against Myanmar after the military coup.