Photo of Israeli billionaire’s cargo ship, which was hit by a drone in the Indian Ocean.
Suspected Iranian Attack On Ship
A container ship owned by an Israeli billionaire came under attack by a suspected Iranian drone in the Indian Ocean as Israel wages war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, an American defense official reportedly said.
The attack on the CMA CGM Symi comes as global shipping increasingly finds itself targeted in the weeks-long war that threatens to become a wider regional conflict — even as a truce has halted fighting and Hamas exchanges hostages for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, according to media reports.
Newschecker noticed that the viral photo did not appear in any of the multiple media reports on the purported attack, raising our doubts.
We then ran a reverse image search of the photo, which led us to this NBC news report, dated June 13, 2019, featuring the same photo. “Smoke billows from an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, 2019,” read the caption, crediting the photo to ISNA/Reuters. The Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) is a semi-official news agency run by Iranian university students.
A further search led us to the same photo used in The Guardian report, dated June 15, 2019, with the caption reading, “An oil tanker burns after the attack on 13 June in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran.”
“…tensions between the regional heavyweight and Washington remained high, three days after an attack that sent tremors through oil markets and sparked fears of widespread disruption to the global oil trade, much of which passes through Gulf waters. Iran has denied carrying out the attacks – the second strikes in a month on Gulf shipping – disputing footage released by the US military that purports to show Iranian naval commandos removing an unexploded mine from the hull of one of the crippled tankers,” read the report.
We also came across this CNN report, dated June 13, 2019, stating, “The Norwegian Maritime Agency said that three explosions were reported on board the Marshall Islands-flagged ‘Front Altair’ oil tanker, which is owned by the Bermuda-based Norwegian company Frontline. The company said that a fire broke out after an explosion and that the cause of the blast was unclear.” Similar reports can be seen here and here, confirming that the viral photo is not of the suspected drone attack on an Israeli-owned ship amid the 2023 Israel-Hamas conflict.