FACT CHECK: No, This Video Does Not Show The Saudi Defense Minister Fleeing From Fireworks At The Chinese Embassy
A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows Saudi Arabia’s defense minister being shot at with fireworks while arriving at the Chinese Embassy in Riyadh.
The video shows a training exercise conducted in 2019 in Kuwait, not a recent visit by the minister.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly planning a visit to Saudi Arabia to strengthen ties between the two nations, according to Politico. The U.S. disputed those plans, further stating that the county is a “vital partner to… each of the countries in the region,” CNBC reported.
The Facebook video allegedly shows Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman being shot at by fireworks while visiting the Chinese Embassy for a celebration of the Chinese New Year. An iteration of the video was posted on Twitter where it garnered over 1,000 likes and also claimed the video took place in Riyadh.
“This video shows the Saudi Defense Minister arriving at the Chinese Embassy to celebrate Chinese New Year…,” the post’s caption reads. “Apparently, the Chinese forgot to mention there would be firecrackers to welcome him.”
The caption is incorrect. A reverse image search revealed the video appeared on YouTube in December 2019 titled “Training of the Amiri Guard in the fairgrounds.. this is how it is handled when characters are shot.”
A second angle of the footage appears from an Instagram post the same month by the Kuwait Army’s verified account.
“A part of the display of the Prince Guard Corps that was carried out during the fifth Gulf Defense and Aviation Exhibition, which was held from 10 to 12 December 2019 in the Exhibition grounds is honored,” a translation of its caption reads.
There are no credible news reports suggesting the Defense Minister had recently visited the Embassy. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A New Year’s Fireworks Display In Japan?)
This is not the first time a miscaptioned video has gone viral. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video that claimed to show Russians fleeing from a Ukrainian military strike.