A 30-second video apparently showing an airstrike is doing the round on social media with the claim that Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter Rudra was shot down by Nepal. The viral posts go onto claim that an Indian pilot was captured.
The video shows a helicopter being shot down midair.
"Regards Nepal: Today, Indian airforces had crossed the border to conduct airstrikes on the Nepal territories. India contacted an airstrike in Belahiya. In the resulting, we've shot down one Indian HAL Rudra and captured one Indian pilot. Now We'll not return pilot to India," reads the caption of one of such posts.
The video is being circulated at a time when Nepal redrew its map and included regions of India.
Nepal's lower house last month cleared a constitutional amendment bill to give legal backing to a map showing areas such as Lipulekh as Nepalese territory, prompting India to claim that such "artificial enlargement of claims" violates an understanding to resolve boundary issues through dialogue or discussion. The map depicts Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of Nepal.
These are the areas in India's Uttarakhand but an amendment bill was moved to update Nepal's new political map, including the areas, in their territory.
The Kathmandu Post had reported that with Saturday's developments, Nepal might have strengthened its position but it could further escalate tensions with India.
"This amendment in the constitution could further complicate relations between the two countries," Lok Raj Baral, professor at Tribhuvan University and former ambassador to India, told the Post. "The task ahead is much more difficult," he added.
IAF helicopter Rudra was shot down by Nepal and an Indian pilot was subsequently captured.
The claim is false.
A Reverse Image search was done on Yandex by breaking the video into individual frames using InVid.
This led to a website called Haberler.com which had published a piece of writing back in 2012. It carried a screenshot of the viral video.
"Syrian opponents claimed that Idlib, located in the north of Syria, had dropped a helicopter belonging to the Syrian air force in the district of Maaret al-Numan," reads the caption of the picture.
Further a tweet by Hugo Kaaman also dating back to 2019 carried the video. The caption read, " A Syrian Air Force (SyAAF) helicopter explodes mid-air as it descends after being struck by opposition anti-aircraft fire above Idlib countryside on October 17, 2012. One of the craziest and most iconic videos from the entire Syrian Civil War."
A keyword search based on the information led to a post on a website Military.com which had uploaded the video on October 17, 2012 saying that it shows "Syrian rebels shoot down a Syrian Army helicopter over the capital causing it to explode in midair"
A media portal 'On Demand News' had also uploaded the video back in 2012 saying that the "video purports to show a Syrian military helicopter exploding over the city of Idlib after being shot down by rebels."
According to a Reuters report on the incident, Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that the helicopter had been downed near Maarat al-Numan.
"Some rebels say they used anti-aircraft missiles," he was quoted as saying.