Picture of an explosion is from Saudi oil facility in 2022, not Yemen

By: Arron Williams
January 18 2024

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Picture of an explosion is from Saudi oil facility in 2022, not Yemen

Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts


The Verdict False

This image does not show an explosion in Yemen following US airstrikes; the image is from 2022 and shows a fire at a Saudi Oil facility.

Claim ID 154dc0a5


The U.S. and U.K. launched airstrikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen on January 11 and 12. According to the BBC, the strikes were carried out against Houthi targets to deter attacks on ships passing through the Red Sea. Dozens of sites were hit in the strikes, with some casualties reported.

Following the airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen an image of a large explosion was shared on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook. The image shows a night scene of several buildings with clouds of smoke and fire rising above them.

   Screenshot of a post on X. (Source: X)

X users claim that the photo was taken in Yemen and depicts a US airstrike against Houthi rebels. However, the image is from 2022 and depicts a fire in Saudi Arabia, not Yemen.

In fact

A Google reverse image search reveals a long list of results, including several social media posts and news articles from 2022.

Screenshot of Google reverse image search results with articles from 2022. (Source: Google)

On X, some posts with the claim were labeled with community notes, stating that the image is of a fire in Saudi Arabia in March 2022.

The reverse image search also led us to the original photo published on March 26, 2022, in an article by Reuters. Beneath the image is the caption, “A view of a fire at Saudi Aramco's petroleum storage facility, after an attack, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia March 25, 2022.” 

The full image is displayed in the Reuters article, while the one circulating on social media has been cropped, cutting out several background details.

Comparison between the image shared on X (left) and the image by Reuters (right). (Source: X and Reuters/Stringer)

Furthermore, according to the article, Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they had launched missile attacks on Saudi energy fields. The petroleum products distribution center in Jeddah – owned by oil giant Aramco – was hit by these attacks, resulting in a fire in two storage tanks. There were no casualties. The attacks were part of a wider series of attacks aimed at “vital facilities” in Saudi Arabia.

Other news organizations also covered the fire in 2022, sharing the same image. Reuters also uploaded other images of the fire from different angles and the road. These images show billowing smoke in the aftermath of the fire.


Photos from Reuters showing the fire from a different angle (top) and from the road (bottom) (Source: Reuters/Stringer)

The verdict

The image is from an oil facility explosion in Saudi Arabia in 2022. It is not related to current events in Yemen. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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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