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Fact Check: Did Indian Air Force mock Pakistan over Balakot deaths?

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A morphed image was circulated to falsely claim that the Indian Air Force used symbols on a fighter jet t to take a dig at Pakistanis who claimed that trees and a crow were the casualties in the Balakot airstrikes.

An image has surfaced on social media platforms showing Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jet with the claim that the Indian Air Force has used symbols to mock Pakistan’s claim that only “4 trees and one crow” were the casualties in the Balakot airstrike that happened in February 2019.

A number of Twitter users are sharing the image with the caption, "Admire the IAF sense of humour. They are trolling the Pakis for admitting that only 4 trees and one crow were the casualties in the Balakot Strike."

The image is viral on Twitter with the same caption. 

Facebook users are also sharing the image with the same claim. 

An area has been highlighted in the viral image to show four trees and a text apparently mentioning ‘Balakot strike.’ The image also has a watermark saying 'Bharat Rakshak.'

The phrase “four trees and one crow” refers to a statement made by a local who was commenting on the 2019 Balakot air strike. “No one died. Only some pine trees died, they were cut down. A crow also died,” the local told Reuters. The Pakistani Air Force was trolled and mocked following this report.

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. The viral image is photoshopped and the original image does not show any such symbols on the said fighter jet.

With the help of reverse image search, we found that a website,, had uploaded the same photo and identified the aircraft as Dassault Mirage 2000H/TH. (image 9)

The image uploaded on the website did not have the painted signs and neither was there any text on the aircraft.

Hence, a morphed image was circulated to falsely claim that the Indian Air Force used symbols on a fighter jet t to take a dig at Pakistanis who claimed that trees and a crow were the casualties in the Balakot airstrikes.

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