2012 Video Of Syria Shared As Nepal Downing Indian Chopper, Capturing Pilot

BOOM found that the video has been on internet since 2012 and appears to have been shot on the Syrian airspace

An eight-year-old video of what appears to be a Syrian military helicopter being downed by rebels over the war-ravaged country has been shared on social media falsely claiming it to be an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter that was shot by Nepal.

BOOM found that the original video, from 2012, was reportedly shot in a Syrian town when a military helicopter was gunned down by the Syrian rebels.

The 33-second-video shows a helicopter coming down leaving behind a trail of smoke before bursting into a ball of flames. The audio of the footage has been muted.

The clip is being shared with a false caption which claims that an Indian Air Force pilot was taken captive after the aerial skirmish. It is doing the rounds in the backdrop of the standoff between the two countries over redrawing of maps and disputed territories. Read more about it here.

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The viral post has been shared with a caption reading 'Today, Indian airforces had crossed the border to conduct airstrikes on the Nepal territories. India contacted an airstrike in Belahiya. In the resulting, we've shot down one Indian HAL Rudra and captured one Indian pilot. Now We'll not return pilot to india (Sic)'.

Netizens further claim that the Indian media has not been reporting on the incident.

The video has been shared on Facebook with the same claim.

Fact Check

BOOM ran a reverse image search on one of the frames of the viral video and found several web portals carrying the same video. We checked several websites where longer version of the same clip has been uploaded.

While the clip shared with the false claim is muted, in the original clip one can clearly hear a group frantically chanting 'Allah hu Akbar' as the chopper catches fire. The video shared above was uploaded on the website Military.com on October 17, 2012.

The description with the video reads 'Syrian rebels shoot down a Syrian Army helicopter over the capital causing it to explode in midair'.

We also found the same video uploaded on the YouTube page of the English daily, The Telegraph on October 17, 2012.

Below is a frame by frame comparison of the same.


The description with the video reads 'Syrian rebels shoot down helicopter'.

The Telegraph YouTube channel further stated, 'The moment a Syrian military helicopter was apparently shot down by rebels has been recorded by an amateur cameraman. Rebels downed a helicopter on Wednesday as troops fought to take back a key Syrian town, a watchdog said, as international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned the conflict risks setting the region ablaze'.

According to The Telegraph news report, the incident appeared to have happened when the helicopter was reportedly flying over Idlib, in Syria's north, when it was gunned down.

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BOOM could not independently verify where the video was shot but we were able to trace it back to 2012 and confirm that it wasn't related to the false narrative being peddled on social media.

Updated On: 2020-07-06T11:59:44+05:30
Claim Review :  Nepal shot down an Indian HAL Rudra helicopter that was carrying an airstrike in Belahiya and captured an Indian pilot
Claimed By :  Social media
Fact Check :  False
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