Turkish media claims Egyptian military used fake photo to report on joint naval drills with France

Turkish media claims Egyptian military used fake photo to report on joint naval drills with France

An old photo of a French warship was used by Egypt’s Defense Ministry to report on joint drills with France, while an Egyptian corvette was photoshopped into the image, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said.

The statement on the exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, in which Egyptian corvette Tahya Misr and its French counterpart, F713 Aconit participated was posted on the Defense Ministry’s website and social media on Saturday.

The joint training with France focused on “cooperation in conducting combat missions on the sea against naval forces of the enemy using live fire.” The drills showed that both Cairo and Paris were committed to “maritime security and stability in the Mediterranean Sea,” the statement, which was accompanied by a photo of the two ships in action, read.

The news was picked up by the media abroad and at home, with many Egyptian outlets also using the image from the Defense Ministry in their articles. But Anadolu insisted that the Egyptian military was disseminating “fake photos” in relation to the drills with the French Navy.

“It was established that the image of the Egyptian military vessel was added to the photo of the French corvette F713 through photo editing,” it said.

Turkish journalists even found the source photo of the Aconit, saying that it came from the US Navy’s website and was made during American-French naval drills back in 2013.

A US Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107), prepares to land on the flight deck of the French frigate Aconit (F 713) during a passing exercise in the Mediterranean Sea on September 19, 2013. © Wikipedia / US Navy

There were no comments from either Cairo or Paris.

Relations with Egypt and France remain tense over Libya. Ankara is actively supporting the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in the conflict in the oil-rich country, while accusing Cairo and Paris of being on the side of the rival Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar.

Last month, France accused the Turkish Navy of acting aggressively and preventing a French ship enforcing the arms embargo on Libya from inspecting a freighter in the Mediterranean.

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