Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
An Iranian news agency tweeted a photo claiming it showed U.S. planes on fire this week after Iran launched missile strikes. The photo in the tweet and linked story, however, is from November, involves Israeli strikes, and doesn’t show U.S. planes on fire.
Islamic Republic News Agency, which calls itself the official news agency of Iran, on Jan. 7 tweeted the image and text that said: "US planes in fire after #Iran's missile attack: Source http://bit.ly/39P6gnq #IranvsUSA #Solemani #IranAttacks #AinAssad."
The photo in the tweet also appeared in the linked news story. But the photo actually shows the impact of a Nov. 15, 2019, Israeli missile strike in the Gaza Strip. BBC in November used that photo in a news story and credited it to the AFP.
Getty Images’ caption for the photo in part says: "A ball of fire is seen following an Israel airstrike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip early on November 15, 2019." Getty credits the image to Abed Rahim Khatib/AFP.
Some Twitter users replied to the news agency’s tweet, questioning why it was recycling the old image and noting that it was from November. Other Twitter users more broadly claimed that "Iran’s online operatives" were re-using old pictures.
This is not the only case of old images being repurposed and falsely labeled as showing the most recent air strikes against U.S. military. Our reporting found that additional images and videos of older missile strikes by Iran and Israel were also shared widely on Facebook, falsely identified as being from this week’s Iranian strikes.
The Islamic Republic News Agency shared an image on Twitter giving the inaccurate impression that it showed U.S. planes on fire after Iranian strikes this week.
We rate the claim False.
Twitter, tweet by Islamic Republic News Agency @IrnaEnglish, Jan. 7, 2020
Islamic Republic News Agency, US planes in fire after Iran's missile attack: Source, dated Jan. 8, 2020
Tweets about "Iranian online operatives" sharing older photos of strikes, Jan. 7, 2020
BBC.com, Israel-Gaza ceasefire strained by rockets and air strikes, Nov. 15, 2019
PolitiFact, Old photos of Iran, Israel missile strikes recycled for attack on US bases, Jan. 8, 2020; Facebook users share out-of-context photos after Iran strike on US bases, Jan. 8, 2020
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.