By: Vivek J
October 13 2023
Screenshots of the social media posts with the viral video purporting to show Israel bombing a mosque in Gaza. (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)
This video is from 2014 and shows a mosque bombed by ISIS in Syria.
Amid the ongoing war between Israeli forces and Hamas militants, several pieces of misinformation have gone viral on social media platforms, claiming to show visuals from the ongoing conflict. One such video shared on X (formerly Twitter) purports to show a mosque bombed by Israeli forces during prayers. A sarcastically added caption reads, “I condemn Israel for doing this, Atleast Aazan toh puri hone dete (Should have at least let the call to prayer get over).. #Israel #IsraelPalestineWar #Hamasattack#Gaza #Israelatwar.” Similar posts have been shared in multiple Indian languages, including Hindi and Kannada. Archives of such posts can be seen here, here, here, and here.
Screenshots of posts claiming to show Israel bombing a mosque during the recent conflict. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, this video is not from the recent conflict and shows a mosque in Syria being bombed in 2014.
What did we find?
We conducted a reverse image search of keyframes from this video and found a report on a Turkish website, “Pir Zöhre Ana Forum,” containing the same image. The report noted that this image was that of a Shi’ite mosque in Syria’s Raqqa, which was bombed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. On looking for reports of ISIS destroying a Shi’ite mosque in Syria, we came across a report by the Atlantic Council detailing the destruction caused by ISIS in Syrian cities.
Taking cues from this report and searching for names of the structures demolished by ISIS in Syria, we came across a YouTube video uploaded by user 'Remi Sung Sub Yoon' dated June 8, 2014, titled “ISIS demolished the Uweis al-Qarani Shrine.” This video contained the same visuals as seen in the viral video. BBC also reported on the destruction caused by ISIS in Syrian cities and shared satellite images of several structures.
Comparison of the screenshots from the viral video and the 2014 YouTube video. (Source: X/YouTube/Screenshot)
Another video shared by Live Mint on YouTube showing some of the structures destroyed by ISIS in Syria also contained similar clips from the viral video. We could also geolocate and find the historical images of the mosque in Syria before and after it was bombed by ISIS in 2014.
Screenshot of the satellite image of the Uwais Al Qarni mosque before and after the bombing. (Source: Screenshot/Google Earth)
A more recent satellite image of the mosque’s location in Syria shows an almost empty space with little evidence of the structure’s existence.
Screenshot of the satellite image of the Uwais Al Qarni Mosque taken in 2022. (Source: Screenshot/Google Earth)
The video claiming to show Israel bombing a mosque during the recent conflict is old. The video shows ISIS bombing a Shi’ite mosque in Raqqa, Syria, in 2014. This incident has nothing to do with the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.