Was Jordan’s Princess Salma involved in shooting down of Iranian drones?

Was Jordan’s Princess Salma involved in shooting down of Iranian drones?
Images and rumours surfaced online of Princess Salma of Jordan reportedly being involved in intercepting Iranian drones targeting Israel.
3 min read
15 April, 2024
Princess Salma was accused of being part of an operation to shoot down Iranian drones targeting Israel [Royal Hashemite Court /@rhcjo]

Princess Salma bint Abdullah of Jordan has been at the centre of controversy after rumours flying around said she was responsible for shooting down Iranian drones targeting Israel.

Iran launched a large-scale attack on Israel on Saturday evening, firing over 300 drones and missiles in the country, in response to Israel striking the Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month.

The Israeli military said that the attack was made up of around 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles.

The US, UK, France and Jordan joined in efforts to intercept the drone and missiles.

However, social media posts quickly surfaced saying Princess Salma was involved in the shooting down of the drones which had entered Jordanian airspace.

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The princess, who is a pilot for the Royal Jordanian Airforce, reportedly appeared in a number of photos which allegedly showed her participating in the operation.

"Princess Salma of Jordan shot down six Iranian drones last night," one of the posts read, which had garnered a lot of attention on social media platform X.

Misbar, an independent Arabic language fact-checking and verification platform on Monday confirmed that there was no truth to the rumours.

The platform found that there was no reliable information to suggest that the Princess took part in the operation and that the photo used in the social media posts came from an article published in Emirates Woman magazine on 15 December 2023.

The image was part of a magazine spread titled 'Princess Salma of Jordan leads air force initiative to airdrop medical supplies into Gaza'.

The image showed her in uniform standing in front of an aircraft.

A community note on X, a feature which allows users to add context and flag any misleading news or misinformation, said that some of the images used were digitally altered screenshots a media outlet shared, claiming that the Princess shot down six Iranian drones.

“These claims are fake and fabricated,” the community note read.

Another photo used alongside the rumours was published by the official account of the Royal Hashemite Court on Instagram on 26 September 2022 to mark her birthday.

Following Iran’s attack on Israel late on Saturday, the Jordanian government issued a statement confirming they had dealt with "some flying objects" which entered the country’s air space.

The statement added that Jordanian armed forces would confront "everything that would expose the security and safety of the nation, its citizens and the sanctity of its airspace and lands to any danger or transgression by any party".