Old photo of drone shot down in Libya shared as incident along LAC in India

Defense False

A photo being shared widely on social media platforms shows a downed small aircraft and a soldier in army fatigues walking beside it with a claim that Indian forces have successfully shot down an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV) near the Line of Actual Control(LAC) between India and China. The text on the image also claims that DRDO or Defense Research and Development Organisation has arrived at the location and is collecting the parts of the fallen aircraft. Here’s the image:

The image was sent to us on our WhatsApp Factline number 904 905 3770 by subscribers with a request to verify if the claim is true. 

Fact Crescendo found that the image is actually from Libya and the incident took place in 2019. Here are the details of the Fact Check:

FACT CHECK METHODOLOGY

At first, we checked for any recent news reports of a Chinese Drone or Aircraft shot down at the Line of Actual Control. We did not find any such news report. 

Following this, we ran a reverse image search on Yandex and saw a number of old links of news websites, most of which stated that the incident had taken place in Libya in 2019. Here is one such news report, published on August 3, 2019 on The Libya Observer:

Screenshot, news report, The Libya Observer

The Libya Observer Link

The news reports states “The Libyan Army’s Volcano of Rage Operation of the Presidential Council has announced shooting down a Chinese Wing Loong drone provided by the UAE to Khalifa Haftar’s forces in the area between Abu Grein and Al-Wishka, southern Misrata.

The media office of the operation said that the Air Force of the Libyan Army intercepted the UAE’s drone and shot it down.”

We checked out other articles too which carried the same image and were published around the same time. We also found articles on the same incident on Millitary Africa, a website that publishes information about military operations, weapons and equipment.

Screenshot, article, Millitary Africa

Millitary Africa Link

The article says “Few days after two Aeronautics Orbiter-3 Small Tactical UAS belonging to the forces allied with the Government of National Accord was shot down by the Libyan National Army, a Wing Loong II Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) has also been shot down.

GNA sources disclosed that the Wing Loong II UCAV was attempting to conduct airstrikes on behalf of the LNA near Misrata, Libya on 3 August morning.”

CONCLUSION

The above evidences make it clear that the image is from 2019, Libya and not from the Line of Actual Control between India and China. In addition, we did not find any report, which states that Indian Forces intercepted and shot down a Chinese Unmanned Aerial Vehicle along the LAC. The image shared is out of context and therefore the claim made about the image is False.

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Title:Old photo of drone shot down in Libya shared as incident along LAC in India

Fact Check By: Manjori Borkotoky 

Result: False

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