It turns out it was all just a bit of hot air.
Multiple Iranian news outlets breathlessly reported on Thursday the reported death of a Mossad operative in a drone attack in Iraq.
The only problem? The man in question was named as “Asa Flotz,” which translates in Hebrew to “he farted.” Many outlets quickly realized that the joke was on them, but others continued to report the news as of Thursday evening.
It is unclear where the fake name originated, and some outlets identified the man as Ilak Ron, which does not mean anything scatological or otherwise.
Many outlets cited a since-deleted tweet by the Twitter account Intelsky, which later apologized for sharing false information.
“Regardless of the wrong names that some well-known channel correspondents gave me about the Erbil drone attack,” the account wrote Thursday evening. “An Iranian source told me that there was no assassination of any Mossad leader last night. I apologize!”
The attack by the suicide drone occurred on a road outside Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan late Wednesday, not far from the consulate of the UAE and a mission being built by the US. Three people were reported hurt.
The strike was reminiscent of an attack in March that hit a villa near Erbil that Iran later claimed was used as a Mossad training base, likely inspiring the pranksters.
The viral slipup provided ample fuel for memes throughout Thursday, as satirists had a gas on social media.
“We would like to give our heartfelt condolences to the family of Asa Flotz,” tweeted the fake Mossad satire account. “Like a waft in the wind, you were gone too soon. We toot our horns in your honor. Let’s all remember him by saying ‘smell you later.'”
“Asa Flotz was quite the spy,” wrote another Twitter user. “They say he was silent but deadly.”