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Fact Check: 2017 Viral Clip Fictitiously Linked To Recent US Attack On Houthi Boats


A video showing gunfire directed at a distant boat has gone viral on social media, claiming that the United States on December 31, 2023 had sunk three Houthi boats and eliminated 10 crew members following a confrontation in the Red Sea. The Houthi gunmen on these boats were purportedly attempting to attack a container ship. 

The video is shared on Facebook with a caption: “The US Navy has destroyed Houthi boats whose crew attempted to board a container ship in the Red Sea.” 

Here’s the link to the above post


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim, and found it to be MISLEADING. 

Numerous individuals reacting to the viral video asserted that it dates back to 2017. Conducting a keyword search, our team found its extended version on the YouTube channel Gung Ho Vids, which purports to share videos produced by the U.S. armed forces. The viral clip can be observed around the 40-second mark in this video.

According to the video’s description, the U.S. Navy personnel were conducting a test known as the Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials. The test took place on February 2, 2017, using a Mark 38 machine gun to target small boats.

The video was credited to Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Samoluk, and was found on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website, a platform that serves as the U.S. Department of Defense’s direct communication line for news and information to U.S. forces deployed worldwide on land, sea, and air.

The video was recorded on February 2, 2017, in the Pacific Ocean and featured sailors aboard the USS America (LHA 6) loading ammunition into a close-in weapons system for operational testing. This information was confirmed by a press release from the US Navy, indicating that the final phase of the Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials and follow-on operation testing of the ship’s weapons systems was completed on the same date.

Thus, it is confirmed that the viral video is old and NOT related to the recent US attack on Houthi boats. 

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