Fake News: "Iran Attack US Airbase in Iraq" Video Contains OLD Footage

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: "Iran Attack US Airbase in Iraq" Video Contains OLD Footage

Does a January 7, 2020, YouTube video titled "Iran Attack US Airbase in Iraq! #WorldWar3 #IranMissileStrikes" show actual footage of the Iranian missile strikes on that date? No, that's not entirely true: the clip is spliced together from different sources and the most spectacular footage is from 2018 or older.

The video appeared on YouTube on January 8, 2020, under the title "Iran Attack US Airbase in Iraq! #WorldWar3 #IranMissileStrikes" (archived here and here) with following description:

#Iran #AlAsad #IraqAttack VIDEO: of moment IRAN fired Rockets at al-Asad Air Base in IRAQ! People Terrified!

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Iran Attack US Airbase in Iraq! #WorldWar3 #IranMissileStrikes

#Iran #AlAsad #IraqAttack VIDEO: of moment IRAN fired Rockets at al-Asad Air Base in IRAQ! People Terrified!

The first part of the video appears to be authentic; it was also shown on CNN Arabic here:

لحظة انطلاق صواريخ بالستية إيرانية نحو قاعدة عين الأسد

أظهر فيديو نشرته وكالة SIMA الإيرانية ما قالت إنها لحظة انطلاق صواريخ باليستية من إيران نحو قاعدة الأسد الجوية في العراق.

But the section showng dozens and dozens of rockets being launched was already present on YouTube in in 2018 in a different video, titled "Russia test-launches missiles - GREAT & TERRIBLE":

The part showing missiles impacting also appears to be recent; it was also featured on CNN Arabic:

شاهد.. لحظة قصف قاعدة عين الأسد العسكرية في العراق بالصواريخ

أظهر فيديو نشرته وكالة فارس الإيرانية ما قالت إنها اللحظة التي ضربت فيها صواريخ باليستية أطلقت من إيران على قاعدة الأسد في العراق.

The "newscast" segment is clipped from this ABC News video, and it features David Muir announcing the strikes:

So far, the video has managed to rack up almost half a million engagements on Facebook and about 800,000 views on YouTube in under 10 hours.

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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