FALSE: Video of night sky flare shows ‘start of Iran vs U.S. World War 3’
Claim: A video showing flares lighting the night sky supposedly signals the start of the war between the United States and Iran.
The caption for the video reads, “Iran vs USA WWIII just started. Please keep safe everyone. So help us God.”
Facebook page Pinas Trending TV posted the video on January 9. As of writing, the post has been shared 2,797 times with 2,861 reactions and 238 comments.
A witness supposedly recorded the moment of attack from the window of a room. At the near end part of the video, the sound of an explosion can be heard.
The claim was flagged by Claim Check, a Facebook dashboard that spots potential false posts spreading on the platform.
The facts: The airstrike shown in the video has nothing to do with the conflict between the US and Iran. It showed rocket attacks that involved Palestinians and Israel in November 2018.
Using the Google reverse image search, Rappler found similar still images from the video. Results showed that Facebook page StandWithUs, an Israel-based education organization, posted the video on November 12, 2018.
According to its post, the video showed a rocket that hit Ashkelon, a coastal city in Israel.
Palestinians fired rockets from Gaza Strip into Israeli territory starting November 12, 2018. Ashkelon took a heavy beating from that attack.
The tension between Palestinians and Israel in November 2018 was ignited after Israel killed Palestinian Islamic jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata, the top militant in Gaza. The two countries exchanged fire that lasted for two days since the onset of airstrikes. On November 13, the ceasefire between Palestinian and Israeli militants was achieved after Egypt mediated.
As for the US-Iran conflict, Iran launched the ballistic missile attack in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on January 3, 2020. US President Donald Trump ordered the drone strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad International Airport.
Below is the actual video embedded in The Guardian’s article dated January 8, which showed the Iranian missiles striking US military forces in Iraq.
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