FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Military Action In The 2021 Israel-Hamas Conflict?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows military forces in action during the recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Verdict: False

The footage actually shows a 2004 Iraqi-U.S. military operation in Samara, Iraq.

Fact Check:

Israel and Hamas engaged in a violent conflict from May 10 until a ceasefire went into effect early May 21, BBC News reported.

The May 16 Facebook post sharing the video claims it shows an “Israel Update today,” adding, “Let’s continue to pray bf9r safety in Israel.” In the video, soldiers with weapons maneuver in and around a building complex featuring a golden dome. Explosions can be seen along with the sound of gunfire.

“Task Force Viper & the 36th Commando Bn Killed 4 enemy Captured 25 enemy and secured the Shrine intact,” text at the end of the video reads. (RELATED: Did Benjamin Netanyahu Give A Speech Before The Knesset Thanking Hamas For Uniting Israel?)

A reverse image search of key frames revealed the footage is not related to the May 2021 Israel-Hamas conflict. The verified YouTube channel FUNKER530 – Veteran Community & Combat Footage posted a longer version of the video in August 2020, with the title “Historical US Special Forces Raid on Golden Mosque.”

In the description, the channel further explains that the video shows the 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion conducting an Oct. 1, 2004 raid on Samara’s Golden Mosque with U.S. Special Forces troops. At one point in the video, an American flag patch is clearly visible on a soldier’s shoulder.

Reuters reported in 2007 that the mosque’s capture by Iraqi commandos was part of a “U.S.-led offensive.” The Washington Post reported Oct. 1, 2004, that an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesperson had claimed the Golden Mosque, as well as most of Samarra, had been brought back under government control.

The Golden Mosque, also known as the al-Askari Mosque, houses the tombs of two Shiite imams and is a major holy site in Iraq for Shiite Islam, according to Time. Photos of its dome, which matches that which appears in the Facebook footage, can be seen on the Getty Images website.

The mosque’s golden dome was severely damaged in a 2006 bombing but was later rebuilt, according to the Associated Press.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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