Photos show 2022 Saudi oil facility explosion, not airstrikes in Yemen

12 January 2024
What was claimed

Photos show recent US and UK airstrikes in Yemen.

Our verdict

False. The photos show an attack on an oil facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2022.

Photos are being shared online with claims they show recent airstrikes in Yemen, but this is not true. One photo shows a large explosion with flames and smoke engulfing multiple buildings. It has been shared on Facebook with the caption: “Yemen is taking a beating from US attack tonight”, while posts on X (formerly Twitter) say “Pictures from Yemen today”. 

Another photo, which shows an explosion from much further away, has also been shared, with claims to show “airstrikes on Yemen”.

This comes after the US and UK carried out airstrikes in Yemen following attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea by the Houthi rebel group, which controls large parts of the country. 

However, the photos do not show recent events in Yemen—they show an attack on an oil depot in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in March 2022.

The attack reportedly caused fires in two petroleum storage tanks at the facility, which belongs to Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Aramco, but there were no casualties. It was one in a series of attacks by the Houthi rebel group on the country’s oil facilities.

Full Fact often sees miscaptioned videos and images spread quickly online during large news stories and significant events, including the wars in Israel-Gaza and Ukraine. You can read more about identifying misleading images and videos using our guides here and here.    

Image courtesy of Tahir mq

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