Old image misattributed to recent strikes in Yemen

By: Nikolaj Kristensen
January 15 2024

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Old image misattributed to recent strikes in Yemen

(Source: Instagram/Screenshot)


The Verdict Misleading

The image is from 2018 and is unrelated to the recent strikes.

Claim ID 458cc678


Users on Instagram have recently shared an image of explosions lighting up a night sky captioned, "Yemen, January 12th, 2024."

"The US & UK are bombing Yemen right now. Why? Because Yemen was trying to stop a genocide. Let that sink in…", read an Instagram post from January 12, 2024, that includes the image and has amassed more than 26,000 likes. 

The U.S. and U.K. bombed several Houthi sites in Yemen on January 11, 2024.

However, the image is from 2018 and is unrelated to the recent strikes.

In fact

Through a reverse image search on Google, we found the image published on numerous websites prior to the strikes on January 11. It headed an article in Foreign Affairs, a U.S. international relations and foreign policy magazine, published on November 28, 2018. 
"A Houthi arms depot explodes after it was hit by airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, January 31, 2018," the description beneath the image reads. The image is attributed to a Reuters photographer. 

By searching for the image caption, we found the image on the Reuters website in an image gallery published on February 2, 2018.The Houthi rebels have been fighting a civil war against Yemen's government, backed by a coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, since 2014. 

The photo, circulating on Instagram as recent, was featured in a Reuters image gallery on February 2, 2018. (Source: Reuters/Instagram/Screenshots)

According to a report published by the Lebanese Center for Research and Consulting, on February 1, 2018, Arab coalition fighters had bombed Houthi weapons stores in the Al-Jarraf area of ​Sana'a the day before, which could be the source of the blasts seen in the photos.

In a statement, U.S. president Joe Biden said the strikes on January 11, 2023, were a "direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea." The Houthis have in recent weeks targeted ships in the Red Sea.

The verdict

The image does not show recent U.S. and U.K. strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. It's from 2018 and shows a Houthi arms depot exploding after it was hit by airstrikes possibly carried out by the Arab coalition backing the Yemeni government. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading. 

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