Fact Check: Is this the video of US drone strike that killed Iranian general Soleimani?

The killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike has heightened tensions in the Middle East, even raising the spectre of another world war. Soleimani was the head of the elite Quds Force and widely considered the second most powerful man after Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei. He was killed last week in Iraq in a US drone attack.

And now, a video has gone viral on social media claiming to be of the very drone attack that killed Soleimani. Facebook user Vishan Prakash uploaded the video with the caption, American drone attack on Soleimani. The gory details. The whole convoy finished. Don’t hear anything about human rights.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the video has nothing to do with Soleimani’s killing. In fact, it is a clipping of a video game.

The video
The 1-minute-41-second video has a buzzing sound in the background, interspersed with bullets being fired. In the video, a cavalcade of cars is under attack and a male voice describes the shootout saying all vehicles are destroyed with direct hits.

On the top left of the screen is written WHOT’, while a few numbers appear elsewhere on the video. On the bottom right, a red button says fire’. The entire video has an infrared camera look and the frame shifts from a long shot to close-up of a few vehicles. Towards the end of the video, shots are fired on what looks like people running from the burning vehicles.

Many Facebook and Twitter users have shared the same video with similar claim.

AFWA probe
We selected the first frame of the video and did a reverse search of the image. This took us to a few websites that said AC-130 Gunship Simulator – Convoy Engagement, which is a video game.

We searched AC-130 Gunship Simulator – Convoy Engagement on Internet and found a clearer video on YouTube, which is exactly 1-minute-41-second long. In the video, the same markings on the screen can be seen as in the viral video. In fact, the YouTube channel also has a tutorial on how to make a video with infrared camera look.

According to reports, Soleimani was killed near Baghdad airport in neighbouring Iraq when three rockets hit them. Soleimani and six others are said to have died in the US drone attack. But the video being shared on social media is a clipping of a video game and has nothing to do with Soleimani’s killing.

Source : India Today


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