VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video is an air show rehearsal, NOT Iran attacking Israel

October 24, 2023

A Filipino Facebook (FB) user uploaded a reel supposedly of an Iranian aircraft targeting Israel amid the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict. The video is false. The footage is of jets during an air show rehearsal.

Uploaded on Oct. 22, the 13-second clip shows four aircraft flying in formation with a siren blasting in the background. The text in the video read: 

“Iran aircraft attacking on (sic) Israel.” 

The clip was first uploaded by a TikTok user before it circulated on FB. 

The clip is of the United States Air Force’s elite demonstration squadron Thunderbirds rehearsing for an exhibition this October. 

Reverse image search revealed that the footage was taken from an Oct. 14 YouTube video uploaded by Texas-based TV station KHOU 11. 

The video’s caption shows its real context: “Raw video: Thunderbirds rehearse for Wings Over Houston.”

In the Oct. 14 to 25 airshow held in Texas, Thunderbirds highlight the capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon jets by demonstrating formation flying and solo routines. 

Note: Click on the photo to view its original source

The video with the wrong context was uploaded two weeks after Iran’s foreign ministry denied they had a role in the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas’ October attack on Israel.  

Hamas maintains a regional alliance with Iran, Syria and the Shi’ite Islamist group Hezbollah in Lebanon. These groups oppose the United States policies in Israel and the Middle East.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian recently warned the U.S. and Israel that if they do not immediately halt the “crime against humanity and genocide in Gaza, anything is possible at any moment and the region will go out of control.”

VERA Files Fact Check has been debunking false and misleading posts circulating online related to the longstanding conflict.  (Read MISLEADING video shows Beirut explosion, NOT Israel-Hamas conflict)

The reel uploaded by the FB netizen has received 1,400 reactions, 398 comments, 179 shares and 107,000 views as of this writing. The TikTok video uploaded by user latestupdaes091 also garnered 25,100 reactions, 1031 comments, 218 shares and 2,200,000 million views.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to VERA, the truth bot on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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VERA Files

VERA Files is a nonstock, nonprofit, independent media organization. Founded in March 2008, it is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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