2016 clip shared as visual of Iran's retaliatory strikes against Israel

By: Umme Kulsum
April 16 2024

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2016 clip shared as visual of Iran's retaliatory strikes against Israel

Screenshot of a post claiming that clip shows Iran's recent retaliatory strike on Israel. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The compilation video of the missile exchange released by Israel Defense Forces included this short clip that has been online since February 2016.

Claim ID cc943987

What's the claim?

Amid escalating tensions in and around the Arab world, various old and unrelated videos and images have been circulating on social media, falsely claiming to depict the recent April 13 attack by Iran on Israel in retaliation to the latter's alleged attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, earlier this month.

The official Israel Defense Forces account on X (formerly Twitter) shared a 37-second long compilation video alleging all visuals depicted Iran's recent attack on Israel, including a clip around the 0:34 mark showing missile strikes. The caption read, "Israelis' reality in the last hours." The post (archived here) garnered over 2 million views at the time of writing. The overlaid text in the video montage alleged that Iran launched a massive missile and drone attack directly at millions of Israeli civilians and claimed the attack revealed the former's "true face" of a "radical and irrational regime that wants to end the entire free world." According to media reports, most of the Iranian missiles and drones were intercepted before they reached Israeli territory, though a young girl has been reported to be severely injured.

This short clip shared by the IDF X account was shared by users over several social media platforms, including TikTok and Facebook, with the same claim that it shows Iran's recent missile attack. We were able to find one iteration of the claim on TikTok using Logically Facts® Accelerate, a tool that enables proactive discovery of fact-check-worthy content on platforms. Archived versions of such posts can be viewed here, here, and here.

Screenshot of the IDF post sharing the viral clip in a compilation, and other posts sharing it online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the IDF has shared an old clip in its post, falsely claiming that it shows the recent Iranian missile attack.

What we found

While the first few clips in the IDF post appear to be recent, Logically Facts found that the last video in the clip, which is going viral in other posts, is dated. We conducted a reverse image search on the keyframes that run from the 0:34 mark and found them in a video that was uploaded on YouTube in 2016. A YouTube channel named “WORLD UPDATE HD” shared this video on February 24, 2016, with the title, “RUSSIAN CLUSTER BOMB ATTACK ONTO ISIS.” At 0:30 seconds into the YouTube video, we can see the visuals seen in the now-viral clip.

Comparison between visuals from the viral clip and an old YouTube videos. (Source: X/YouTube)

We also found the same video uploaded by a different YouTube channel on February 21, 2017, indicating the video is of a Russian strike. The title read, "Night volley of Russian MLRS "Grad". Fire!!!. (sic)"

Although we could not individually find the original source of the video, we came across several news stories from early 2016 reporting on Russian airstrikes in Syria targeting alleged terrorist sites. The Guardian reported that in mid-October 2015, Russia initiated its first airstrikes in Syria, expanding its involvement in the conflict, ostensibly targeting the militant group ISIS. These operations continued until March 2016, when Putin announced the withdrawal of the majority of Russian troops from Syria.

The verdict

A video from 2016 reportedly showing Russian firing against ISIS in Syria has been shared as visuals of Iran's missile strikes on Israel. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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