FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Dutch Farmers Stealing A Fighter Jet?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Dutch farmers broke into an airbase and stole a fighter jet.

Verdict: False

The image was taken in 2011 and shows a demonstration in Croatia.

Fact Check:

Dutch farmers are protesting against proposed emissions cuts by blocking highways and supermarket distribution centers around the country, according to The Associated Press. The blockades have led to major shortages of fresh produce in major shopping markets, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image features a screen grab of a tweet that includes a photo of a tractor pulling what appears to be a fighter jet down a street. “BREAKING: Dutch farmers breaks into Dutch airforce base and takes fighter jet to protest government tyranny,” reads the tweet’s caption. The tweet has been shared over 6,000 times.

The image predates the current protests in The Netherlands. A reverse image search revealed it first appeared in a May 2011 article from the Croatian news outlet Jutarnji list. The photo’s caption states the jet was being towed near Zagreb, Croatia.

The MiG-21 was in the city as part of a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Croatian Armed Forces, according to the Croatian Ministry of Defense. An image showing the jet being towed by the tractor from a different angle is visible on the Ministry of Defense’s website.

There are no credible news reports suggesting Dutch farmers have taken control of any military base in the country or are in possession of a fighter jet. (RELATED: Did A Ukrainian Farmer Capture A Russian Military Jet?)

This is not the first time this particular image has been misattributed to a major news event. Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim that alleged the image showed a Ukrainian tractor towing a Russian jet amid the conflict in Ukraine.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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