No, this is not a video of Indian war planes striking targets in Pakistan

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Multiple Facebook posts share a video that has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times which they claim shows an airstrike by Indian fighter jets in Pakistan. The claim is false; the footage is actually from a military simulation video game.

The posts, for example this one which was posted February 26, 2019 and has been viewed more than 13,000 times, contain black and white footage filmed through a target scope which shows people running from a building before it is hit by a rocket and explodes.

“Indian Air Force attacks Pakistan and kills about 250 terrorists. Historic! #SurgicalStrike Over 245 terrorist eliminated in IAF attack,” the post's caption says.

Screenshot of misleading Facebook post

India’s military has said that its jets carried out airstrikes in Balakot on February 26, 2019, hitting militants camps in retaliation for a suicide attack in Indian Kashmir on February 14, 2019 which left 41 Indian soldiers dead.

Pakistan’s military rejects that account and says that after Indian planes intruded into its airspace, it scrambled jets and chased the Indian planes out, saying they dropped their payload harmlessly in Pakistani territory while fleeing.

Here is an AFP story on the February 26, 2019 incident.

The misleading video has been shared repeatedly on Facebook, for example here, here, and here where it has been viewed more than 400,000 times since it was posted February 26, 2019.

A reverse image search using keyframes from the misleading video found that the footage is actually from a military simulation video game called Arma 2.

The original footage was uploaded to a YouTube gaming channel called Double Doppler on July 9, 2015 with a title: ‘Really Short Engagement (ft. Taliban) - Apache Gunner FLIR Cam #6 - Arma 2’

Below is the original footage:

The caption of the video on YouTube says: “ Gunner perspective in the US Army Apache during battle, using FLIR camera with M230 sound mod. Like real life. Become part of the CREW - share, comment & subscribe!”

The misleading footage can be seen in the original video from 23 seconds onwards.

Below is a screenshot of the footage used in the misleading post (left) alongside the original footage (right) from the video game:

Screenshots of original video (right) and misleading Facebook post (left)