The Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya has come under fire for publishing a fake photo online. On Monday, it posted the following photo to its official Twitter account. The description, in Arabic, reads: “Al Arabiya exclusive: Saudi Arabia’s Operation Decisive Storm destroys a Houthi military convoy in Saada [Yemen].”
There’s just one problem: that photo is an iconic photo from the first Gulf War. According to information provided by the US Department of Defense, which put the image in the public domain, it was taken by a military photographer on March 4, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. The photo shows Iraqi military vehicles that were destroyed by coalition forces.
Readers quickly recognized the photo and started deriding the channel on Twitter. The post was deleted on Monday, but it remained online in cached form.
This is not the first time Al Arabiya has illustrated news items with bogus photos. Last December, it illustrated an article about Iraqi women who were allegedly murdered for refusing to have sex with jihadists with a photo of mass grave in Libya taken a year earlier.