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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Israel Did NOT Drop Tactical Nuclear Bomb On Syria

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 30 Apr 2018 07:52:01 Z)

Did Israel drop a tactical nuclear bomb on Syria? No, there is no evidence for this at all, just a report by an unreliable website that habitually takes some real news from other sources and then adds a headine and introductory paragraph that doesn't contain any sourced facts and is usually made up in order to gain traffic and advertising revenue by abusing the trust of gullible people who don't check their sources.

The nuke report originated from an article published on April 30, 2018 by YourNewsWire titled "Israel Drops Tactical Nuclear Bomb On Syria" (archived here) which opened:

An Israeli airplane in Syria has dropped the first nuclear bomb deployed in armed conflict since the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to local reports.

The nuclear blast targeted an ammunitions depot in Hama, Syria and was so powerful it caused a 2.6 magnitude earthquake recorded close to Taqsees, Hama, Syria at 10:40 pm local time Sunday, at the same time Syrian TV reported several explosions in the same area.

Moments later, videos of a massive set of explosions, reportedly at a Syrian military base at Jabal al-Bukhut 47, some 10 miles south-east of Hama, began to appear on social media.

Screenshot of https://yournewswire.com/israel-tactical-nuclear-bomb-syria/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, possibly scaring them into thinking World War III had started:

Israel Drops Tactical Nuclear Bomb On Syria

An Israeli airplane has dropped a tactical nuclear bomb on a Syrian ammunition depot, according to local reports.

Local reports did indeed report a strike on an ammunition depot and the videos of the resulting explosion seem real enough:

As is typical of ammo depot explosions, a huge blast can be observed followed by many smaller flashes in the air as various airborne bits of ordnance cook off. It doesn't look like a nuclear explosion though and there is no reason to suppose there was one.

The video YourNewsWire embeds also doesn't mention a nuclear blast, it is captioned:

Massive Explosion just now at military site in Syria!!

So powerful that it registered as a 2.6-magnitude earthquake!!!!

Who did it?

(As always, I have an alibi for any and all dates as needed!)

The YourNewsWire article fails completely to provide links to any of the "local sources" that supposedly reported that this was a nuclear strike. And even the official Syrian news agency only reports it as a "rocket attack":

New rocket attack on military positions in countryside of Hama and Aleppo

A number of military sites in the countryside of Hama and Aleppo provinces were exposed to a new rocket attack at around 10:30 PM on Sunday. A military source told SANA that "some military sites in the countryside of Hama and Aleppo provinces were exposed at 10:30 PM to a new aggression with hostile rockets."

YourNewsWire has published several hoaxes and fake news articles in the past so anything they write or publish should be taken with a large grain of salt. Their Facebook page "The People's Voice" recently lost its verification checkmark according to a report from MMFA.

The Terms of Use of the site also make it clear they don't really stand behind the accuracy of any of their reporting:

THE PEOPLE'S VOICE, INC. AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE.

The site was profiled in the Hollywood reporter where it was described as:

Your News Wire, a 3-year-old website of murky facts and slippery spin, is published by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway -- a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 -- out of an apartment in L.A.'s historic El Royale.

RationalWiki described it as:

YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com[1]) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto ("News. Truth. Unfiltered").[1]

A while ago we also reported that YourNewsWire had rebranded itself as NewsPunch by changing its domain name in an apparent effort to evade filtering/blocking. It appears the site has changed back to it's old name in the mean time but you can still see the NewsPunch name in the contact email address in the footer.

We wrote about yournewswire.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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