2018 image from Syria passed off as Iran's missile strike on Pakistan

By: Rajini KG
January 18 2024

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2018 image from Syria passed off as Iran's missile strike on Pakistan

Screenshot of the viral image. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The image shows Iran Revolutionary Guard firing missiles at Syrian militants on October 1, 2018, from Kermanshah city in Iran

Claim ID dcacd98f


On January 16, 2024, Iran conducted a missile strike in Pakistan. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that the operation targeted two sites of the militant group Jaish al-Adl in western Pakistan. Pakistan condemned the attack, reporting two civilian deaths and three injuries, and warned of “serious consequences” for this “illegal attack.”

What's the claim?

Following this, images and videos purporting to show the missile strike on Pakistan have been circulating on social media. A notable post on X (formerly Twitter) displayed an image of three missiles being launched with the caption: BREAKING: New Iranian missile attack against terrorists in Pakistan Iranian ballistic missiles are striking the city of Torbat, in Pakistani Balochistan.” At the time of writing this report, the post had garnered over 1,100 likes and 106,000 views. An archived version of the post can be accessed here. A similar post was also shared on Telegram (archived here).

Screenshot of the viral image. (Source: X/Telegram/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this claim is false as the image, dating back to 2018, actually shows Iranian forces firing missiles at Syria.

Here are the facts

A Google reverse image search revealed that the viral image originated in 2018. It appeared in an Associated Press report on October 1, 2018, where the same image was the fourth in a series of six. The caption shared with the photo read: “In this photo released on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are fired from the city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria. Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said Monday it launched ballistic missiles into eastern Syria targeting militants it blamed for a recent attack on a military parade.”

The image was credited to "Sepahnews via AP." Sepahnews is the official portal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Screenshot of image cited by AP News in 2018. (Source: AP News/Screenshot)

The AP News report detailed Iran's missile launch toward eastern Syria in response to an attack on a military parade on September 22, 2018. Gunmen killed 25 people watching the parade, which commemorated the start of Iran's 1980s war with Iraq. Iran's Revolutionary Guard targeted militants in Hajin and Boukamal, Syria, with ballistic missiles and drone bombers on October 1, 2018, as per Reuters.

Getty Images also hosts the image, credited to "SepahNews/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images," supporting the AP News account. This confirms that the image is old and not recent.

The verdict

The photograph, showing Iran's missile strike on Syrian militants in 2018, has been falsely presented as a recent attack on Pakistan. Thus, we have marked this claim as false.

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