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Air Force: Taliban would rather hear ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’ than roar of A-10

The U.S. Air Force on Thursday referenced a viral meme in a tweet touting a recent mission against Taliban forces in Afghanistan, later deleting the tweet and apologizing after questions over its tone.

“The Taliban Forces in Farah city Afghanistan would much rather have heard ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’ than the deafening ‘BRRRT’ they got courtesy of our A10,” the military branch tweeted from its official account.

The “Yanny vs. Laurel” debate stems from an audio clip that has divided the internet in recent days. The soundbite of a robotic voice sounds to some like the name “Laurel,” while others hear “Yanny.” Thousands of social media users, celebrities and even lawmakers have weighed in.

{mosads}The Air Force’s tweet linked to a report about the deployment of A-10 Warthog attack aircraft over western Afghanistan to fight off Taliban forces attacking the city of Farah.

NATO officials said in a statement that the city remains under government control, but that Afghan forces with U.S. support “are on the offensive against the Taliban,” according to the Air Force Times.

The report also included video footage of U.S. airstrikes taking out Taliban fighters in Farah Province. 

A spokesman for the Taliban claimed that its fighters were “conducting clearing operations” in the city, but local news outlets reported that Afghan government officials said the militants were stopped about two miles from the city center, according to the Air Force Times.

Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White was asked during a briefing on Thursday if she thought it was “appropriate” for the Air Force to make the reference to the meme.

White said she had not yet seen the tweet, but would “take a look at it and come back” with a response. The Air Force later deleted the tweet and apologized.

“We apologize for the earlier tweet regarding the A-10,” the Air Force said in a tweet. “It was made in poor taste and we are addressing it internally. It has since been removed.”

“What’s important to understand is that is the Afghans’ fight,” White said in the briefing. “We are working by, with and through these partners, and they are dying to secure their own future, and I think that shouldn’t be forgotten in any of this.”

-Updated at 1:47 p.m.

Tags A-10 Warthog Afghanistan meme US Air Force
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