The US Air Force apologized and deleted a tweet Thursday that sought to find humor in killing Taliban militants in Afghanistan by incorporating the viral "Yanny or Laurel" meme. A-10 attack jets targeted Taliban fighters with their seven-barrel 30mm cannons.
Realising their crude statement late that night, they apologised and removed the earlier tweet. "It was made in poor taste".
'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 Air Force tweet read, before linking to a story about the Farah offensive.
Last year, the USA pledged to increase its support to struggling Afghan forces, announcing plans for thousands of additional advisers and increasing air raids in a bid to force the Taliban to enter peace negotiations.
The Air Force tweet quickly generated interest online seemingly because it juxtaposed the seriousness of the offensive with the viral pop culture discussion about whether an audio file on the Internet sounded like the word "Yanny" or "Laurel".
But the background of the battle in Farah is stark.
"As we have seen over the last couple of days, the Taliban are unable to hold terrain during such isolated attacks and their unsuccessful raid attempts on district centers in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Faryab and Zabul", the statement said. "Today, in spite of vain Taliban attempts to challenge the Afghan government's control of Farah city, [the city] remains under the control of the Afghan defense and security forces".
Some users came to the tweet's defense and said critics were being too politically correct, but a few hours after the tweet was published, the Air Force took it down.
"As Secretary Mattis has said, we stand by the Afghan people, we stand by the Afghan government and the - and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission in Afghanistan will continue as we drive the Taliban to a political settlement".