The internet file spread across social media networks and led to a huge debate as people heard two different words in the same sentence. Some heard the word Yanny while others heard Laurel.
The US Air Force, however, used the hashtag to call attention to an operation targeting Taliban militants in the city of Farah, western Afghanistan.
“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 US Air Force tweeted early Wednesday morning.
The “Brrrt” allegedly represented the sound the aircraft made while carrying out the military operation.
The joke was in poor taste, as it was quickly removed from Twitter before the forces could face a backlash. The Air Force even issued an apology.
— U.S. Air Force (@usairforce) May 17, 2018
Zakiya Sangin, a Member of Parliament from Parwan province, told Sputnik in an interview that instead of helping Afghanistan, the US is making fun of it.
"Afghanistan is not in a position to tolerate ridicule. In all provinces of the country it is unsafe. Our young people are dying in the war, and families are mourning. The US military forces want to test the patience of the people of Afghanistan. The US had to help us fight terrorism, but they only laugh at the people of Afghanistan and over our grief.”
"When the lives and destinies of people are at stake, jokes on the Internet are unacceptable in any way. Jokes on Twitter and disrespect for the lives of Afghans and their traditions are an insult to the Afghan people,” Azami said.
Soltan Ahmad Jahed, a youth activist, said that the United States is indifferent to the state of affairs in Afghanistan, and that such jokes are simply out of place.
“War continues in Farah province. People lose their children. In such conditions, jokes are misplaced and incorrect. The US is our strategic partner, but these actions show that they do not care as to what happens in Afghanistan.”
According to him, this is not the first time the US has behaved in this way and earlier, Americans had laughed at the religious feelings of the residents of Parvan province, spreading anti-religious leaflets, for which they later apologized.
"You cannot change the problem with just an apology. Americans must change their behavior,” the activist added.