Most of these photos have circulated online before the military takeover in Myanmar

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

Six photos have been shared on Facebook alongside a claim they show weapons sent by "Turkey and other countries" to anti-junta forces in Myanmar in 2021. The images, however, have been shared in a misleading context: most of the photos have circulated online years before the military seized power in Myanmar. As of November 1, 2021, there have been no credible reports that the Turkish government has provided weapons to anti-junta forces in Myanmar.

The images were published here on Facebook on October 28, 2021. The post has been shared over 190 times.

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post taken on October 29, 2021

The post's Burmese-language caption translates to English as: "These weapons have already been sent to the PDF. These weapons were sent by Turkey and other countries."

The People's Defence Force (PDF) is the armed wing of the National Unity Government (NUG), Myanmar's shadow government. The NUG announced its formation on May 5, 2021.

The misleading post circulated online after fighting intensified between the Myanmar military and anti-junta forces.

This followed a series of violent crackdowns on peaceful protesters by the military, AFP reported here.

As of November 1, 2021, there have been no credible reports that Turkey or other countries have provided weapons to anti-junta forces in Myanmar.

The same photos have been shared here and here, alongside a similar claim.

The claim, however, is misleading.

First photo

A reverse image search on Google found the first photo has circulated online since at least 2018.

It was published here on April 18, 2018 by a Facebook page called United Defense Manufacturing Corporation -- a Filipino-owned private corporation that manufactures various guns.

The post reads: "First batch of 1,993 UDMC F5-DGIS rifles for the PNP-Special Action Force, 233 units of 20-inch barrel 5.56 NATO rifles won by UDMC in a public bidding under R.A. 9184. For formal turnover tomorrow April 19, 2018."

Below is a screenshot comparison of the misleading Facebook post (L) and the United Defense Manufacturing Corporation's photo (R):

A screenshot comparison of the misleading Facebook post (L) and the United Defense Manufacturing Corporation's photo (R)

Second photo

Another reverse image search on Google found the second photo published here on a Facebook page called Tai video news shan state on April 28, 2021.

The caption in local Shan ethnic dialect translates to English as: "RCSS/SSA ordered Thai baht 10 million worth of military-related things over two months. 70 percent of the order has already arrived and 30 percent of the order has been delayed because of a logistic problem."

RCSS/SSA is an ethnic armed organisation in Myanmar's Shan state formed before the February 1 coup.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the misleading Facebook post (L) and Tai video news shan state's photo (R):

A screenshot comparison of the misleading Facebook post (L) and Tai video news shan state's photo (R)

Third photo

The third photo was traced back to Burmese Facebook page R7 (Revolution 7), an online fundraising group for the PDF.

It was published here on October 26, 2021 alongside lists of certificates that were purportedly given out to those who donated money to their organisation.

The Burmese-language caption translates to English as: "We, R7 (Revolution 7), thanks to all donors for supporting us."

Below is a screenshot comparison between the misleading Facebook post (L) and R7's photo (R):

A screenshot comparison between the misleading Facebook post (L) and R7's photo (R)

Fourth photo

The fourth photo has circulated in reports since 2013 about a gun shop in the US.

It was published here by the Los Angeles Times on October 6, 2013.

The headline reads: "Government shutdown its military towns hard".

The photo caption reads: "Customers shop for guns at Jim’s Pawn Shop in Fayetteville, N.C., where many businesses feared sales would be hurt by the government shutdown. (David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times)".

Below is a screenshot comparison between the misleading Facebook post (L) and the Los Angeles Times' photo (R):

A screenshot comparison between the misleading Facebook post (L) and the Los Angeles Times' photo (R)

Fifth photo

Another reverse image search on Google found the fifth photo has circulated in various news reports since July 22, 2019.

It was published here on a website called popolay.com.

The Burmese-language headline translates to English as: "Thailand made guns were seized in Thazi township".

Part of the Burmese-language report translates to English as: "22 guns made in Thailand and Germany were seized in Thazi township in Mandalay division on July 19 at night."

Below is a screenshot comparison of the misleading Facebook post (L) and popolay.com’s photo (R):

A screenshot comparison of the misleading Facebook post (L) and popolay.com’s photo (R)

Sixth photo

Further reverse image search on Google found the sixth photo here in an article published in Houston Style Magazine on October 29, 2014.

The headline reads: "Operation Fast and Furious Fast Facts".

The article reads in part: "Here's some background information about Operation Fast and Furious. From 2009 - 2011, under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Phoenix Field Division, along with other partners, allowed illegal gun sales believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels in order to track the sellers and purchasers."

Below is a screenshot comparison between the misleading Facebook post (L) and Houston Style Magazine’s photo (R):

A screenshot comparison between the misleading Facebook post (L) and Houston Style Magazine’s photo (R)

MYANMAR MILITARY COUP