A video of a man in black thwab and a white headgear getting down from a vehicle and greeting another person amidst high security is circulating widely on social media. Further on in the video, the sound of firecrackers can be heard with the security staff immediately escorting the man back into the car and leaving. It has been claimed that the pair seen in white headgear are Saudi Defense Ministers who arrived at the Chinese Embassy to attend Chinese New Year celebrations. Chinese officials had arranged fireworks for their welcome, however, the ministers were unaware of this. As a result, they panicked and the security had to ‘save’ them.
Twitter user Anjali Jain also tweeted this video with a similar claim. (Archived link)
सऊदिया डिफेंस मिनिस्टर हैं, चीनी नववर्ष के जश्न में शरीक होने #China की एम्बेसी आए थे चीनी अफसरों ने उनके #Welcome को आतिशबाज़ी का इंतज़ाम किया था लेकिन ये मिनिस्टर साहब को नहीं पता था। फिर क्या हुआ आप भी मजे लीजिए।#Viral #viralvideo #TejRan #NFFC #NFTGiveaway #Giveaway #Crypto pic.twitter.com/oiyrjFSdbT
— Anjali Jain (@AnjaliJain1999) August 25, 2022
Journalist Vivek Tripathi of ABP Ganga also amplified the visuals and accompanying claim. However, he later deleted the tweet. (Archived link)
Twitter user Jaiky Yadav also promoted the video with the same claim. (Archived link)
At first glance, this video seems a bit odd. When the sound of the firecrackers is heard, none of the bystanders move at all. Apart from this, even when the military personnel take the pair away, the people standing there do not move. Rather, they continue recording the festivities on their phones without concern.
Alt News performed a reverse image search using a frame taken from the video. This led us to an article covering this video on Aos Fatos, a fact-checking website from Brazil. The report refutes the claim made with the video and also contains a tweet dated December 12, 2019, posted by Kuwait’s Al-Hadith news channel. The tweet features a recording of the viral video taken from a different angle. It also states that this is a video of a fake military show by the Amiri guards at the Gulf Defense and AVSON exhibition.
معرض الخليج للدفاع والطيران | عرض عسكري وهمي لهيئة الحرس الأميري pic.twitter.com/fRWuYgN0Dh
— الحدث الإخبارية (@AlhadathQ8) December 12, 2019
According to the information available on the Government of Kuwait’s website, a three-day Gulf Arms and Aerospace Exhibition was held on December 10, 2019, in which 31 countries participated.
One user also uploaded this video on YouTube on December 12, 2019. It is titled, “Amiri Guard Training at the Fairgrounds. This is how they handle when the character is shot.” It is worth noting that the date of upload of this video on YouTube coincides with the date the exhibition was being held i.e., from December 10 till December 12.
We compared the frames of the viral video with images of the Kuwait International Fairground on Google Maps and found that it was indeed shot at the same location.
Several other fact-checking portals such as The Observers, Boatos, hoax OR fact, and AFP also debunked the viral video.
To sum it up, social media users falsely shared a video of a mock military drill at an exhibition in Kuwait as a video of Saudi Arabia’s defence ministers panicking after hearing fireworks.
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