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Fact Check: Old video from Syria FALSELY shared as Israel bombing Hamas

Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a video of a group of armed individuals laughing on a moving car before getting bombed was widely shared. Sharing the video, a Twitter user wrote, “Hamas terrorists laughing on the way to attack Israel. Suddenly an Israeli bomb dropped and they met with 72 hours.”

Several other tweets making similar claims can be seen here, here, and here. Even a Spanish news website called “Telediaro” (published the video with the same claim. Its archive can be seen here.

India Today Fact Check found that the viral video has been on the internet since March 2019 and is likely from Syria.

Our Probe

A reverse search of keyframes from the viral video led to the official Facebook page and the YouTube channel of the Syrian news outlet Orient, where we found the video uploaded on March 4, 2019.

Orient reported that a convoy of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s militia was passing through the desert near Deir Ez-Zor, Syria. While a soldier was capturing photographs of the convoy, an explosive device detonated in one of the convoy’s vehicles. Other news outlets from Syria and Saudi Arabia also published similar information their reports at that time.

In October 2019, the video also circulated widely, purporting to show Turkey’s operation Peace Spring in Northern Syria. At that time, a Turkish website, “Gazeteduvar” debunked it. False claims surrounding the video were again debunked in 2020 during the escalation of tension between the United States and Iran.

While we couldn’t independently confirm the location or the exact date of the video, it is safe to conclude that it predates the current Israel-Hamas conflict by at least four years.

Published On:

Oct 11, 2023

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Image Credit / Source: News Wire