VERA FILES FACT CHECK: US NOT sending Marines to help defend PH territory

The United States sends its marines to help defend Philippine territory.

YouTube channel US Defense Videos 04/05/2024 False

A reverse image search revealed several clips shown in the video compilation are old and not taken in the country. Text of the original article was used verbatim in the video, and did not state the false claim.

A video on YouTube erroneously claims that the United States (U.S.) has dispatched its Marines to help the Philippines protect its territory against China. This is not true.

Published on April 5, a YouTube channel published the video that bore the following untrue headline:

“US Send Marines to Disputed Island to Help Philippines and Taiwan to Prevent China Invasion”

Showing various footage of U.S. military forces, implying these were the Marines sent to the country, the narrator belied the video headline’s claim as he mentioned that U.S. forces were sent to the Middle East to train in preparation for a potential conflict with China.

In a reverse image search, several clips shown throughout the eight-minute spurious video were old and not filmed in the Philippines.

Published on the website of the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, three clips featured in the video showed the U.S. 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participating in the joint military exercise called “Exercise Talisman Saber” organized in 2019, which is the principal training activity between America and Australia.

Click on the images to view the original sources.

Another footage used in the untrue video featured the U.S. 31st MEU published by the unit’s official Facebook page, this time conducting training to certify all elements of the U.S. Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

The video narrator’s lines used were taken verbatim from the original March 30 article of Business Insider on the U.S.’ plan of island-hopping battle exercise. Nowhere in the article did it state that the U.S. plans to send its own forces to help defend Philippine territory.

This video with a false claim continued to circulate this week as Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela condemned the Chinese Coast Guard anew for harassing vessels of the PCG and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, as well as boats of Filipino fishermen, in the vicinity of Rozul Reef.

YouTube channel US Defense Videos (created on May 18, 2017) published the untrue video, garnering over 47,000 views and 600 interactions.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)