Fake News: This Video Does NOT Show Drone footage of Soleimani Assasination

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fake News: This Video Does NOT Show Drone footage of Soleimani Assasination

Does a video making the rounds on social media show aerial footage from the drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani at the Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020? No, that's not true: This footage was based off a pre-release teaser of the video game "AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron" that was posted to YouTube on March 25, 2015.

This video game from Byte Conveyor Studios was designed to be played on mobile phones.

The video currently circulating on the internet has had a blurring filter applied over the crisp black-and-white video game footage. The blurring makes the text illegible, and it also masks the cartoonish rendering of the CGI vehicles. AFP India has issued a fact-check with side-by-side still comparisons of the videos and a list of many of the sources who shared the modified video game footage with the misleading caption.

The video was posted by the Jewish Voice Facebook Page with this caption:

"Very dramatic video please watch. Actual video the moment American destroying the convoy of cars carrying the Iranian general Qassim Sulimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis"

Adding yet another layer of believability to this was the content warning that Facebook placed over the blurred video; it told viewers that this video may show violent or graphic content. Viewers on social media saw an image like this:

If a person opted to uncover the video, they saw a blurry black-and-white video featuring explosions, flipping vehicles, crashes, and apparent thermal imaging of people running from the wreckage into a palm grove on either side of the curving road.
The Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office released several photos of the burning wreckage in the aftermath of the January drone strike, ordered by the White House, at the Baghdad airport - which have been featured by most major news outlets.

Here, they are hosted in a slideshow in an MSN article.

These images show that the airport road was flanked by a tall concrete wall on one side, guardrails on both sides and a straight row of palm trees opposite the concrete wall.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion