2021 Turkish drone strike video in Iraq shared as recent

By: Toibah Kirmani
July 31 2023

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2021 Turkish drone strike video in Iraq shared as recent


The Verdict False

The video is from 2021 an attack by Turkey against PKK militants in Iraq and not from the recent drone strikes.

Claim ID c08a6d8a


A video circulating online claims to show a recent drone strike in Iraq. On July 29, 2023, a Turkish drone strike killed four suspected Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê (PKK) militants (Kurdistan Workers Party in English) and injured one in Iraq's northern province of Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan's counterterrorism service said, as reported by Reuters.

The video, which shows an attack aircraft bombing a target and causing a powerful explosion, was shared with the caption, “The Turkish Ministry of Defense publishes scenes of the bombing of the northern provinces of Iraq.” The video has garnered over 9,000 views at the time of writing. However, the video is old and not related to the recent attack. The archive can be found here.

In Fact

A reverse Google Image search on keyframes from the video led us to the same video shared by the official Twitter account of the Turkish Ministry of National Defence on April 19, 2021. The caption of the original video in Turkish translates to: “We continue to destroy the dens of terrorists. Nine PKK terrorists, who were detected by reconnaissance and surveillance means in the Metina region of northern Iraq, were neutralized by the successful air operation of our Air Force. Our operations will continue with determination!”

A report by Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah from April 19, 2021 including the video states, "The Turkish military killed nine PKK terrorists in an air-supported operation in northern Iraq, the Defense Ministry said."

The attack was carried out in the Metina region of Iraq in 2021, while the recent attack happened in the Sulaimaniya region.

The PKK is labeled a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU, and the U.S., as reported by the BBC. The group began an armed struggle against the Turkish government in 1984, aiming for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey. The Turkish air force conducts regular airstrikes on PKK bases situated in the mountainous regions of northern Iraq.

The Verdict

The video in question is from 2021 and shows an attack by the Turkish military against PKK terrorists in the Metina region of Iraq. It is not related to the recent incident in Sulaimaniya. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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