Debunking misinformation around Iran’s attack on Israel

Debunking misinformation around Iran’s attack on Israel

By: nicoleta banila&
April 16 2024

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Debunking misinformation around Iran’s attack on Israel

(Source: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

On the evening of April 13, 2024, Iran launched an attack against Israel, deploying explosive drones and launching missiles in retaliation for Israel's suspected strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, earlier that month, which claimed the lives of seven military officials. 

According to the Israel Defense Forces, around 350 rockets were fired from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon's Hezbollah, of which nearly 99 percent were intercepted with the help of U.S., British, and French forces.

Soon after Iran's attack, social media was flooded with old and unrelated videos of the attack and misleading claims such as Russia's support of Iran in case of a U.S. attack. 

At the time of publishing this article, Israeli and international media report the war cabinet is in favor of hitting back at Iran but is divided over when and how. Despite appeals for restraints coming from allies, Israel's armed forces chief has vowed that Iran's attack will be met with a response.

No international support for Israel's retaliation

On the evening of the attack, Iran's Permanent Mission to the U.N. announced on X that it considers the retaliation to be concluded but warned of a more severe response "if Israel makes another mistake." 

Iran also threatened to strike U.S. bases in the region if Washington supports Israeli retaliation, according to the Times of Israel.

The U.S. cautioned Israel that it will not participate in any retaliatory strikes against Iran, as U.S. President Joe Biden advised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "think very carefully and strategically" while Western allies, including France, Germany, and the U.K., urged Israel to avoid escalation. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged "maximum restraint," while G7 leaders issued a statement condemning Iran's attack, but stressed that an uncontrollable regional escalation must be avoided. 

Four U.S. officials told NBC that in their opinion, Israel's response is likely to be limited and could focus on striking key targets outside Iran. 

According to a Reuters report, the prospect of an attack has alarmed many Iranians who are already facing economic hurdles and limited freedom following massive protests in 2022.

Viral deception

Amid the uncertainty, several disinformation narratives are gaining traction on social media. One of them claims that U.S. President Biden funded Iran's attack by providing money through sanction waivers. U.S. officials have clarified that the funds from the sanction waiver will not go to Iran, but will be directed towards humanitarian assistance. 

Some posts are speculating on Israel's response, claiming that it "will retaliate against Iran tonight" or within the next 24-48 hours, even though the Israeli war cabinet has not announced anything concrete as of April 16. Other disinformation circulating on social media primarily revolved around old videos with misleading captions, claiming to be from the night of Iran's attack on Israel.

Logically Facts has debunked more false claims related to Iran's attack on Israel. Here's a roundup of all the misinformation narratives we have fact-checked so far. 

Video of Chile wildfires misattributed to Iran's attack on Israel

Numerous videos circulating on social media claim to depict Iran's recent attack on Israel, but they show images from the February wildfires in Chile. 

Iran-israel-chile_backgroundExample of the claim shared online. The TikTok user watermark can be seen in the bottom right corner. (Source: Instagram/TikTok/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts)

Read the fact-check here.

Video from Argentina falsely shared as Israelis fleeing Iran's retaliatory attack

Another video depicting chaos among a large crown went viral on social media platforms, claiming to show Israelis fleeing amid Iran's attacks. The video gained a significant number of views and likes on social media, but it is not from Israel and has no connection to the recent attack. Logically Facts found that the video originates from Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Read the fact-check here.

Vladimir Putin did not claim Russia will support Iran if the U.S. attacks

Social media users have propagated a claim alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Russia's support for Iran in the event of a U.S. attack on Iranian soil in support of Israel. Posts containing this assertion, accompanied by a picture of Putin and Iranian leader Ebrahim Raisi shaking hands, have circulated widely. 

Screenshots of viral posts circulating claims Russia will support Iran in the case of a U.S. attack. (Source: Threads/Facebook/Screenshots/Composite by Logically Facts)

Neither Putin nor the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made any such statement. In fact, various countries, including Russia, expressed concern over the escalation, with Russia urging all parties to exercise restraint.  

Read the fact-check here.

2023 video of Israel's Iron Dome intercepting Hamas rockets shared as recent Iran attack

Social media users shared a video of drones and missiles in the night sky, claiming it shows Iran's attack on Israel intercepted by the Iron Dome, a defense system designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery. However, the viral video is from October 2023.

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: Instagram/X/Screenshot)

The original video was published by The Telegraph on their YouTube channel on October 12, 2023, and shows the Iron Dome intercepting Hamas rockets in Ashkelon.

Read the fact-check here.

Image shows WWII shelter tunnel in Poland, not a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv

Tensions were escalating even before Iran's attack, fueled by Iran's accusation of a deadly airstrike on its consulate in Damascus. Social media users shared an image allegedly depicting bomb shelters in Tel Aviv, Israel, suggesting increasing concerns of a potential conflict. Logically Facts found that the image shows a WWII shelter tunnel in Poland, not a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv.

Left: the viral image. Right: the WWII shelter tunnel in Strzyżów, Poland, captured from (Source: X/ by Logically Facts)

Read the fact-check here.

No, Iranian missiles didn't strike Israel's Ben Gurion Airport

An Instagram video claims to show an attack on Israel's Ben Gurion Airport by Iran during the strike on April 13. While Israel and its allies were able to intercept 99 percent of the over 300 drones and missiles launched by Iran toward Israel, some missiles did get through. 

However, Ben Gurion Airport was not among the affected infrastructure, and there is video footage of the airport being evacuated and shut down after the missiles were launched. The Airport was reopened in the early hours of April 14 and flights have resumed. 

Read the fact-check here.


In today's digital landscape, misinformation and disinformation are increasingly prevalent, especially when dealing with geopolitical issues, conflict, and natural calamities. This is why staying skeptical, cross-checking sources, and using fact-checking tools is essential. Read more in this Logically Facts guide on how to fact-check when news is breaking.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before