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Viral video shows an Iranian hypersonic missile test, but not an air strike on Israel

IN SHORT: Tensions between the Middle Eastern countries of Iran and Israel continue to escalate. But a video claiming to show Iran’s hypersonic missile is old and does not show a missile launched towards Israel in April 2024.

Note: This report includes details about a breaking news story. Information was, as far as possible, correct at the time of publication but may change rapidly.

A video is circulating on Facebook with the caption: “Iran has published a video of its hypersonic missiles with the message: ‘In 400 seconds to Israel’.”

On 1 April 2024, Israel attacked the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, killing several Iranian officers and bringing Israel and Iran to the verge of an open war. In response, the Iranian government launched its own attack, with reports of drones and cruise missiles being fired at Israel on 14 April.

The Israel Defence Forces said that with the support of its allies, it was able to intercept many of the drones and some cruise missiles over Syria, Iraq and Jordan before they reached Israel.

Hypersonic missiles are advanced weapons that travel at approximately 1.7 kilometres per second, making them extremely fast and difficult to intercept with existing defence systems.

The same claim and video can also be found on Facebook here, here, here, here, here and here

But does the video show Iran’s hypersonic missile being launched towards Israel in April 2024? We checked.


Old video

Using the video verification tool Invid, Africa Check found the same video posted on X (formerly Twitter) in November 2023, months before tensions between Israel and Iran escalated. Its machine-translated caption reads: “Firing and hitting the hypersonic ballistic missile.”

Another X user posted the same video on 20 March 2024, with the caption: “Here is Iran’s hypersonic missile test from last year.”

We also found news reports from November 2023 about Iran’s unveiling of the missile.

In 2022, an Iranian newspaper published a warning that the hypersonic missile could reach the Israeli city of Tel Aviv in “400 seconds”. However, there has been no such warning from the government or the media in 2024.

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