2005 image of U.S. general in Iraq falsely linked to Israel-Hamas conflict

By: Vivek J
November 21 2023

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2005 image of U.S. general in Iraq falsely linked to Israel-Hamas conflict

Screenshots of the posts claiming that a U.S. General was killed in Gaza. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The image is of General George Casey and it was in 2005 when he visited Iraq.

Claim ID fa4509e7

What is the claim?

Since Israel began its military operation against Hamas in Gaza following the October 7, 2023, attack that killed over 1,200, the U.S. has supported the Israeli counter-offensive. The U.S. approved nearly $14.5 billion in military aid for Israel and also sent weapons to Israel.

A picture, purportedly of U.S. General Thomas Hurley, is being shared on social media platforms claiming that he was killed in an Israeli tank during the ongoing conflict, implying that the U.S. has also sent troops to Gaza. 

One such post shared on X (formerly Twitter) was shared with the text, “American General Thomas Hurley was killed in the tank holocaust in #Gaza. America not only funds Israel, it is also its partner in killing civilians and children (sic).” Archives of similar posts can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: X/Instagram/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the image is from 2005 and shows General George Casey in Iraq.

What we found

We conducted a reverse image search and found the same image on Getty Images. The description of the image noted that the person in the photo was General George Casey, who was visiting Iraq “for a ceremony to restore Iraqi border security in the restive city of Kusaiybah, Iraq, a recent battleground during U.S. operation Steel Curtain, along the Syrian-Iraq border on November 30, 2005.” The picture is credited to David Furst. In this high-resolution picture, we can see the name “Casey'' written on his helmet.

 Getty Images notes that the man in the picture is U.S. General George Casey. (Source: Getty Images)

Similarly, we also found the same image on another website named “mediafaxfoto” which had the same description and credited Furst for the image. It also noted that this was an Agence France Presse (AFP) photo. A further search led us to the AFP website, where we found the same image credited to David Furst, dated November 30, 2005. 

General George Casey is a retired four-star U.S. Army General who served as Commander of Multinational Force – Iraq and the U.S. Army Chief of Staff. General Casey retired in 2011 after a career in the military for over 40 years. 

What about ‘General Thomas Hurley’?

We searched for news reports of a U.S. General named “Thomas Hurley” being killed in Gaza, and the search did not return any results. We also did not find any reference to the supposed officer on any official website.  

Multiple news reports quote U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris as saying that the U.S. has “absolutely no intention” of sending its troops to Israel. The U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby and other senior Defense officials have also made similar comments and stood firm that the U.S. has no plans of deploying troops in Israel. 

The verdict

A 2005 image from Iraq of now-retired U.S. Army General George Casey has been shared with a claim that it shows a "General Thomas Hurley" killed in Gaza. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before