Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'US Coalition' Fleeing Red Sea Amid Houthi Threats

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'US Coalition' Fleeing Red Sea Amid Houthi Threats 2012 Video

Does a video on TikTok depict the U.S.-led coalition escaping from the Red Sea due to fears of Houthi attacks? No, that's not true: The video dates back to 2012, predating the commencement of Houthi attacks on U.S. vessels in the Red Sea amid the Hamas-Israel conflict that began on October 7, 2023. The footage shows the USS Dewey, a guided-missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy, participating in a sea power demonstration next to the aircraft carrier USS Stennis Tiger Cruise.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by @hakar____xxxx on January 19, 2024, featuring two text overlays (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) that read:

The US Coalition escaping from the Red Sea, fearing the Yemeni missiles. 🔥🇾🇪🇵🇸

The moment when a US ship was escaping from the Red Sea, but the Yemeni heroes were able to capture it. 🇵🇸🇾🇪

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-01-26 at 11.32.48.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Jan 26 10:34:40 2024 UTC)

The Houthis (archived here) are an Iranian-backed group in Yemen known for conducting attacks (archived here) on ships in the Red Sea. They claim (archived here) to be responding to Israel's bombardment of Gaza, which followed Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7, 2023.

Lead Stories conducted a reverse image search on January 26, 2024, using Google Lens (archived here). The results led to the video published (archived here) on YouTube by @infinite1der (archived here) on March 14, 2012, titled "DDG-105 takes a nose-dive." The video has a caption that reads:

During the Sea Power Demonstration aboard the USS Stennis (CVN-74) Tiger Cruise, USS Dewey dips her nose into the drink.

The most recent information on the USS Dewey (DDG-105) from the U.S. Navy website (archived here), indicated that the destroyer was engaged in operations in the South China Sea as of November 1, 2023. The ship's Facebook page also did not mention or align with the video's claim (archived here).

This is what the video looked like on YouTube at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-01-26 at 22.41.31.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Fri Jan 26 21:41:02 2024 UTC)

On the same date, Lead Stories staff conducted a search on Google News (archived here) using the keywords "US," "Coalition," "Withdraw," and "Red Sea" for the past 12 months. The search results did not show any reports indicating that the U.S. coalition is withdrawing from the Red Sea (archived here).

  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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