Social media remains abuzz with images and videos of Rafale jets that arrived at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Ambala last week. Among the innumerable clips that have since surfaced on the Internet, there is one which showcases jets emerging from behind a royal monument and has gone viral as France's farewell to India's Rafale jets. With an outlandish claim that Indian media ignored this coverage.
The footage that has garnered tens of thousands of views on Twitter and Facebook depicts a group of jets forming synchronized smoke trails of green, white and red colours, which resemble India's tricolour. Thus, social media users have fallen for the claim that it is of France's big send-off to the fighter jets purchased by Indian Air Force.
"Rafael farewell from France. Our media didn't cover it. Spectacular," wrote one Twitter user, while another said, "Everyone talked about Rafael landing in India but see the farewell from France with Indian Tricolors."
Have a look at the video here:
Fact-Checking the clip
As we at IBTimes India, resorted to verify the footage and the claim with which it is being shared, we arrived at the conclusion that the clip has no connection with the Rafale jets or France whatsoever.
In fact, the video is not even from France as the magnificent building shown in it is actually Italy's Victor Emmanuel II National Monument. Constructed in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy, it is situated in Rome.
One reverse image search of the part of a monument from the video revealed that it was from Italy's Republic Day celebrations and the smoke trails formed by the jets represent the Italian flag. As Italy's flag has vertical pales of green, white and red, it could appear like India's tricolour when seen from afar, which is probably why many Indians were misled.
Besides, France had delivered five Rafale jets while the video shows as many as nine aircraft. Furthermore, the Indian embassy in France had tweeted a video of the fighter jets taking off from Merignac airbase in Bordeaux.
Rafale aircrafts maneuvered by the world’s best pilots, soar into the sky. Emblematic of new heights in India-France defence collaboration #ResurgentIndia #NewIndia@IAF_MCC @MeaIndia @rajnathsingh @Dassault_OnAir @DefenceMinIndia @PMOIndia@JawedAshraf5 @DDNewslive @ANI pic.twitter.com/FrEQYROWSv— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) July 27, 2020
Therefore, the claim that the viral video depicts France's tricolour farewell to Rafale is false. The five multi-role fighter jets joined the IAF on July 29, marking the beginning of a new era in India's military history.