Fact Check: Video of Ukrainian aerial strike goes viral as Iran’s attack on Israel

On April 1, an airstrike destroyed the consular section of Iran’s embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus. Iran has accused Israel of this strike, which reportedly killed thirteen people, including Iran’s Quds Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi. The Quds Force is an overseas branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In its aftermath, a video of a huge explosion in a city at night time has been shared on social media with claims like: “Breaking news, Iran started attack Tel Aviv with heavy missiles. Tel Aviv is now under heavy bombardment, and fires are burning.” Its archive can be seen here.

India Today Fact Check found that the viral video shows a Ukrainian attack on the Russian-occupied Crimean port of Sevastopol in March 2024.

Our Probe

A reverse search on screengrabs from the viral video led us to the longer version of the same clip uploaded to the official YouTube channel of The Telegraph, a London-based newspaper, on March 24. As per the report, the video shows huge explosions in the Crimean port of Sevastopol after a Ukrainian missile attack.

As per the video’s description, the Ukrainian military stated that it had hit two Russian warships and other facilities of the Russian navy in the Black Sea. “The Defence Forces have successfully hit the Yamal and Azov landing ships, a communications centre, and several infrastructure facilities belonging to the Russian Black Sea Fleet,” a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

We also found screengrabs from the viral video in several media reports. As per the Ukrainska Pravda, a Ukrainian online newspaper, on March 23, about ten explosions were heard in Sevastopol. The strikes targeted Kozacha Bay, where the permanent base of Russia’s 810th Marine Brigade is located.

Several news outlets on YouTube covered this incident at the time and said that the incident happened in Crimea’s Sevastopol and it was a Ukrainian missile attack.

It’s worth noting, however, that Iran has threatened Israel after the April 1 attack. But at the time of writing this report, no attack retaliation from Iran had been reported.

Thus, it’s clear that this video has nothing to do with the Israel-Iran conflict.

Written by Ashish Kumar

Published By:

Poorva Joshi

Published On:

Apr 4, 2024

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