Monday, July 17, 2006

Very Unconfirmed Arab News Reports about Downed Israeli F-16

This morning, at least five hours ago (local Israel time), a number of Arab news outlets reported that an Israeli F-16 crashed or was downed north-east of Beirut. I've been doing some surveys of the websites of major satellite news station and I am fairly sceptical. My short survey was conducted around 4 to 5 pm Israel time and included only websites. I'm in the library at Ben-Gurion University now, so I can't listen to the radio or watch TV. I started on the al-'Arabiyya website, which had a headline that read:

التلفزيون اللبناني يعلن إسقاط طائرة حربية إسرائيلية وتل ابيب تنفي

"Lebanese television announces the crash of an Israeli fighter plane and Tel Aviv denies [the report]"

The Dubai-based and Saudi owned al-'Arabiyya article goes on to say that there are conflicting reports about the event, but that Lebanese television (they don't say what station) showed something falling from the sky. There are no pictures and there is no other evidence, and the article also notes that an Israeli security source has denied the reports. On Qatar's al-Jazeera, there's not even a headline or article about the supposed downing of the plane. This is about an hour and a half or even more after the news were first released. The news-ticker also doesn't mention the story. That must mean that is is too iffy even for al-Jazeera to publish. The Lebanese TV station LBC also makes no mention of this story. America's Arabic-language news radio station Radio Sawa, is another news outlet that does mention the story. An article in Radio Sawa says that Lebanese defence sources asked about the matter said that they could not confirm the report:

من ناحية أخرى، قالت مصادر أمنية لبنانية إنها لا تستطيع تأكيد نبأ سقوط الطائرة

The same sources added that it is possible that some part of the fuel tank became detached from the plane:

ربما يكون عبارة عن صهريج وقود انفصل عن جسم الطائرة

1 comment:

Nominally Challenged said...

You can see this on ynet:,7340,L-3277223,00.html

The film shows something spinning and falling out of the sky, but who knows what it is. In any event, the IAF denies that it has lost a plane.