Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Helicopters From Arab Countries Moving Toward Gaza -- It Shows Mexican Navy Anniversary In Veracruz, Mexico

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Helicopters From Arab Countries Moving Toward Gaza -- It Shows Mexican Navy Anniversary In Veracruz, Mexico Mexican Flags

Does a video show helicopters from "Arab countries" flying toward Gaza in formation with their flags? No, that's not true: This video was filmed on October 4, 2023, in Veracruz, Mexico, and features an air show that was staged as part of the 202-year anniversary of the founding of the Mexican Navy. It has nothing to do with the Hamas-Israel conflict.

The video was posted on Instagram (archived here) by @youainthardnews on October 21, 2023. Captions on the video read:

Finally Arab countries
Start moving towards
Gaza to help ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

This is how the post appeared at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Oct 23 18:04:33 2023 UTC)

An October 4, 2023, article in Diario de Xalapa reports on the festivities in Veracruz that day. The description, translated from Spanish by Google, says:

This Wednesday, October 4, the celebration of the 202 years of the creation of the Mexican Navy took place in the city and Port of Veracruz ...
The ceremony began with an air show, where a total of 17 units including planes and helicopters from the Navy Secretariat took to the skies of Puerto Jarocho to then carry out a maritime search and rescue drill in the waters of the Veracruz seawall.
Navy swimmers, naval health personnel, as well as a helicopter and an ambulance participated in this demonstration.

Lead Stories identified another video posted on YouTube on October 10, 2023, showing the same helicopter formation (pictured below). The video's title, translated from Spanish by Google, is "FAM planes and Navy helicopters over Veracruz." FAM is the Mexican Air Force, Fuerza Aรฉrea Mexicana. This YouTube video opens with the aerobatic maneuvers of jets flying, which left the smoke trails also visible at the start of the Instagram video. In the Lead Stories composite image below, the first flag in the formation (on the right) is the flag of Mexico, the second flag with an anchor is the Mexican Naval Jack and the third flag shows a commemorative medallion for the 202-year anniversary of the Mexican Navy.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with YouTube, gob.mx and tripod screenshots taken on Mon Oct 23 18:41:31 2023 UTC)

With Instant Street View (pictured below) Lead Stories was able to geolocate where the Instagram video was filmed. On the left is the blue and white public school building of the Center for Technological Studies of the Sea on Comodoro Manuel Azueta in Veracruz, Mexico. The ornate street lamps, the palm tree, black-and-white-striped piers as well as the distant buildings on the far side of the harbor all match the video (inset screenshots).


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with instantstreetview and Instagram screenshots taken on Mon Oct 23 18:41:31 2023 UTC)

Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about the 2023 crisis in the Middle East can be found here.

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  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

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