New Delhi: A video, falsely claiming to record the US airstrike that led to the death of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, has been doing the rounds on social media since Tuesday.
Soleimani, the second most powerful man in Iran, was killed Friday in a US missile strike near the Baghdad airport in Iraq. He was head of the elite Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force and orchestrated several covert operations, involving proxy militias, across the region.
Since his death, a video of the ‘drone attack’ has been circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp. In the video, titled Stunning and chilling video of the drone attack on the convoy of Iranian Maj Gen Qasim Suleimani, bullets are being fired from a drone on a convoy of cars. Multiple people have shared this post on both the sites, with one post getting more than 17,000 views.
The video is actually a YouTube clip from a video game called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron, which was uploaded on March 2015.
The screen grabs from this clip were also used in November 2017 by the Russian Defence Ministry as evidence of the US aiding ISIS in Syria. At the time, the Russian ministry had tweeted, “These facts are conclusive evidence that the United States, while imitating an uncompromising fight against international terrorism for the global community, in fact provides cover for Islamic State units.” The tweet was later deleted.
Syrian war analyst Elliot Higgins had discovered that these grabs were from a computer game.
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) November 14, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov had played down the error by saying “mistakes happen”, and added that the Russian military had fixed it.
This is not the first time that images and videos from computer games have been presented as evidence of missile attacks. In February 2019, after the Balakot strike by the Indian Air Force on Pakistan, videos from a game simulation video — Arma3 were circulated as evidence of the strikes.
In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer.