Air Force apologizes for tweet citing A-10s, deadly Afghan offensive, Yanny v. Laurel debate

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WATCH Laurel vs. yanny viral debate is over

The Air Force apologized Thursday for a tweet from its official account that appeared to make light of a deadly U.S. military operation in Afghanistan by referencing the viral pop culture debate "Yanny v. Laurel."

Early Thursday morning, the Air Force tweeted, "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 "deafening #BRRT" mentioned in the tweet was an apparent reference to the sound an air cannon aboard the A-10 makes when it strafes ground forces.

PHOTO: The Air Force has deleted a tweet referencing the viral Laurel/Yanny issue in regard to a deadly air strike in Afghanistan, admitting the tweet was in poor taste.U.S. Air Force
The Air Force has deleted a tweet referencing the viral Laurel/Yanny issue in regard to a deadly air strike in Afghanistan, admitting the tweet was in "poor taste."

This week, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, backed by U.S. Air Force A-10 aircraft, conducted an offensive against the Taliban in the government-controlled city of Farah in western Afghanistan. During the offensive, A-10s were only used as a show of force. Instead, U.S. MQ-9s and Afghan aircraft struck Taliban targets on the ground.

The Afghan forces were able to repel the Taliban assault, but lost 25 service members in the offensive, according to the New York Times.

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."

The Yanny/Laurel debate has been referenced by celebrities and politicians alike, but the tweet was perceived as insensitive to the ongoing 17-year war in Afghanistan.

During Thursday's Pentagon briefing, a reporter asked Chief spokesperson Dana White if it was appropriate for the Air Force to "put out such a lighthearted comment essentially kind of making war a meme in light of heavy causalities that the Afghans took."

White said she hadn't seen the tweet but would look into it.

Shortly after the briefing, the Air Force tweeted out an apology, saying "it was made in poor taste."

The original tweet was removed, and the Air Force said it would address the matter internally.

An Air Force official told ABC News that the tweet was written by a public affairs airman.

ABC News' Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

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