On Tuesday, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the media that the Indian Air Force had conducted a non-military, pre-emptive air strike earlier that morning in the Pakistan’s Balakot to target the largest training camp run by terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The Indian Air Force reportedly struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in the Pakistani town of Balakot on February 26. A video doing rounds on social media is being shared with the claim that it depicts the airstrike.
Indian Air Force 🙌
🇮🇳 Jai Hind 🇮🇳#surgicalstrike2 #indianairforce #Balakot#indiastrikesback pic.twitter.com/5mPF8PJeSc
— Devil V!SHAL ᴮᴴᴬᴿᴬᵀ (@VishalRC007) February 26, 2019
ABP journalist Vikas Bhadauria was among those who circulated the clip. However, he shared it with a caption in Hindi saying “something like this must have happened”.
Users on both Twitter and Facebook have circulated the clip with the claim that it depicted the air force airstrike.
A video game
At first glance, the video did not seem genuine. The faint English commentary in the background raised doubts. Alt News searched through gaming videos on YouTube with different keywords and landed on a 2015 clip of a video game “Arma 2”. The part of the video that is viral on social media starts at about 20 seconds in the original clip.
At the same time, a video also went viral claiming to depicted the Indian Air Force strike on terrorist camps in Pakistan. A Twitter user Ajay Kushwaha, who is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter, posted it on this timeline.
The video was also posted by a Pakistani Twitter user khalid_pk claiming it to be visuals of Pakistani Air Force retaliating to the Indian Air Force. The video then circulated in both Indian and Pakistani social media ecosystem with varying narratives.
Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, a defence analyst, quote-tweeted khalid_pk’s video and suggested that Pakistani fighters issuing flares were an indication that some air-to-air action had taken place between Indian and Pakistani fighter jets.
As the video spread, many userspeople starting casting doubts regarding its veracity. Twitter user XULQIMOON claimed that the video was an old one and showed a fly past by Pakistani Air Force on Pakistan’s Independence Day, August 14.
A side-by-side comparison of the visuals from the two videos, the old one available on YouTube and the one posted by Twitter user khalid_pk, makes it evident that the two videos are identical.
This article first appeared on Alt News.