FALSE: ‘Actual video’ of U.S. strike that killed Qasem Soleimani

FALSE: ‘Actual video’ of U.S. strike that killed Qasem Soleimani
The footage is from a video game simulator called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron

Claim: Facebook page Viral T.V posted the “actual video” of the airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, Iranian commander and head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.

Ito po yung actual video ng pag air strike ng amerika sa sinasakyan ni Qasem Soleimani at nang iba pa (This is the actual video of the US airstrike that targeted Qasem Soleimani’s vehicle),” the Facebook page captioned its post on January 7.

In the video, a crosshair was at the center of the frame. There was also a red circle with the word “FIRE” at the lower right side of the screen and a bunch of codes on the opposite side. The screen was shown in grayscale.

The video lasted for a minute and 41 seconds. The crosshair aimed at a number of what appeared to be moving vehicles lined up along a curved road and subsequently fired at them. The video’s perspective showed a bird’s eye view.

As of writing, Viral T.V’s post had been viewed over 236,000 times on Facebook. It also had 5,148 shares, 2,446 reactions, and 403 comments.

Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool that identifies potentially suspicious posts, flagged Viral T.V’s post along with two other Facebook pages that posted the same video.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The video clip shared on social media came from a video game simulator called AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron.

Using a screenshot of the first frame of the video shared on Facebook, Rappler did a reverse image search and found that it came from a YouTube video uploaded in March 2015 by Argentina-based video game development company Byte Conveyor Studios. The video was titled “AC-130 Gunship Simulator – Convoy engagement.”


The video from Byte Conveyor Studios showed the exact same features in the video clips that have gone viral. The audio was also the same.

On January 3, Soleimani was killed in a US strike on Baghdad’s international airport. The Pentagon said US President Donald Trump ordered the killing.

This is not the first time Rappler debunked a false post about the tensions between US and Iran. On January 17, Rappler published a fact check on another video of a night sky flare, which Facebook pages said was the “start of Iran vs U.S. World War 3.” This was also proven false. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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