Posts falsely link 2011 jet photo to Dutch farmers' protests

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Social media posts share a picture they claim shows Dutch farmers who seized a fighter jet during protests against environmental regulations in the Netherlands. This is false; the photo -- which has previously been shared out of context -- was taken at a 2011 exhibit in Croatia to mark the anniversary of the country's armed forces.

"BREAKING: Dutch farmers breaks into Dutch airforce base and takes fighter jet to protest government tyranny," says a July 6, 2022 tweet with thousands of shares and likes.

The post includes a picture of a tractor towing a fighter jet in a street at night.

Screenshot of a tweet taken July 13, 2022

The image spread as thousands of tractor-driving farmers demonstrated in central Netherlands in June 2022, causing widespread traffic chaos as they protested against the government's far-reaching plans to cut nitrogen emissions.

The Dutch government intends to cut nitrogen, a greenhouse gas, by as much as 70 percent in 131 key areas -- many of them close to nature reserves -- to reach climate goals by 2030.

For farmers, a 40 percent drop in emissions is expected, which would require around 30 percent fewer cattle, according to reports.

But the photo shared online was not taken in 2022 -- and it does not come from the Netherlands.

A reverse image search revealed that Croatian media outlet Jutarnji list published the picture in a May 26, 2011 article.

This screenshot taken July 13, 2022 shows a Jutarnji list article

The daily newspaper reported the photo was taken during preparations for a military weapons display to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Croatian armed forces.

Local newspaper 24sata published the same photo in a May 26, 2011 report, which said the aircraft was towed through the streets of Zagreb at night ahead of the exhibit in the capital's Jarun district.

24sata published photos of the plane from different angles, one of which is also included in a 2011 release from the Croatian Defense Ministry.

This screenshot taken July 13, 2022 shows a release from the Croatian Defense Ministry

Moreover, the plane features the national emblem of Croatia, a red and white checkerboard.

Screenshot taken on July 13, 2022 of an image published in a Jutarnji list article

AFP Fact Check previously examined a false claim that the same picture depicted Ukrainian farmers seizing a Russian fighter jet amid the conflict in Ukraine. AFP has also fact-checked other old pictures shared out of context during farmers' protests in the Netherlands.