Fact check: Video does not show a drone bombing Beirut

Social media users have shared a video of a drone alongside suggestions that the aircraft delivered a bomb over Beirut, resulting in an explosion that has killed least 135 people. This is false. The video shared in the posts is from an earlier incident. Initial investigations into the August 4 blast indicate dangerous storage of highly explosive material was to blame, according to an official source.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

On Tuesday the Lebanese capital was rocked by a massive blast at port warehouses storing highly explosive material (here) .

President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.

Officials did not say what caused the initial blaze at the port that set off the blast. A security source and media said it was started by welding work being carried out on a warehouse (here) .

Following the explosion, the video of a drone was shared by some users on social media with the claim that the aircraft was responsible for the blast after it released a bomb over the city.

Posts sharing the miscaptioned video can be seen here and here .

However, this video predates the Beirut explosion by at least five days. The same video was published on the social media accounts of local news outlets on July 30, who reported that the footage showed two Israeli drones flying over the Lebanese town of Hula (here) (here).

The video has an initial shot that is out of focus, identifiable background speech and an appearance of a second drone, revealing it is a match with that shared in the hours following the explosion.


False. The video shared in the posts predates the Beirut explosion.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts (here).