FACT CHECK: U.S. Aircraft Was Likely Heading To Niger, Not Israel
A post shared on Instagram claims that a U.S. military aircraft was refused entry to Algerian airspace because it was heading to Israel with weapons.
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There is no evidence for this claim. Flight data shows the aircraft was likely flying to Niger, not Israel. A State Department spokesperson said the claim was false.
Social media users are claiming that Algeria refused entry to a U.S. aircraft into its airspace because it was carrying weapons to Israel. One Instagram post making the claim received over 320,000 likes. (RELATED: Image Of Israeli Soldiers Celebrating Hanukkah Appears To Be AI-Generated)
However, there is a lack of evidence for this claim. Check Your Fact could not find any credible news outlets reporting that a U.S. military aircraft was heading to Israel before it was refused entry into Algerian airspace. Misbar, a fact-checking outlet, reported that data from FlightRadar24.com shows that the aircraft was flying to Niger, not Israel.
The Bald Geek, an X account that runs the Airframes website, provided more context in a Dec. 9 tweet.
Does any of this help explain? pic.twitter.com/zv12uG1mIE
— thebaldgeek (@thebaldgeek) December 9, 2023
“Just got word from the DAO Algeria that they are trying to contact Ministry of Foreign Affairs Algeria. Once we here back we will notify you. No timeline,” one of the messages read. (The DAO is the defense attache of the U.S. embassy in Algeria.)
A State Department spokesperson refuted the claim, telling Check Your Fact in an email that it “was false.” A Pentagon spokesperson referred Check Your Fact to Algeria.
“Due to operational security considerations, we do not discuss flight operations or the contents within our aircraft,” the spokesperson said.
Check Your Fact reached out to the Algerian embassy in the U.S. for comment.