2019 image from Syria shared as Gazan child wounded in Israel bombing

By: Ankita Kulkarni
April 5 2024

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2019 image from Syria shared as Gazan child wounded in Israel bombing

Screenshot of post making claims that it depicts a victim of Israeli bombings in Gaza (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The image dates back to 2019 and shows a Kurdish kid injured in northern Syria during Turkish military operations.

Claim ID f95e5eb9

(Trigger warning: The story contains descriptions of distressing visuals and mentions of violence. Reader discretion is advised.)    

What is the claim?
An image purportedly showing a child with burns covering his body is circulating on social media, with claims that it depicts a victim of Israeli bombings in Gaza amid the ongoing conflict. The posts sharing the image have blamed the U.S. for funding Israel's attacks on civilians in Gaza. The caption reads, “We Will Never Forget! We Will Fight Back Till our Last Breath! This kid was bombed with US tax payers' money, dropped by the vile of the Gaza! We Will Never Forget! #FreePalestine.” Archived versions of the posts shared on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) can be accessed here, here, here, and here

Screenshot of the viral posts. (X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

The claims are being made in the context of Israel being accused of using white phosphorus in its ongoing war against Hamas militants. 

However, the image predates the ongoing Israel and Hamas conflict. It was captured in 2019 when a kid was hurt during the cross-border military operations conducted by the Turkish army forces in northern Syria. 

What did we find?

A Google search led us to a report published by Al-Arabiya, a Saudi state-owned international Arabic media outlet, dated October 19, 2019. The report includes a 26-second-long clip of the same kid as in the viral post, crying and shouting in pain due to burns on his body. The report states that the video shows a 13-year-old Syrian Kurdish child whose body was allegedly burnt with "white phosphorus" after Turkish forces bombed the city of Ras al-Ain in northern Syria. 

A report published by a media house based in Egypt, Al-Youm Al-Sabea, on October 20, 2019, also included similar details about the incident and multiple pictures of the boy captured on the hospital bed. 

Multiple local media outlets like Elbalad News and Anadolu Agency, and a British tabloid, The Sun, also carried similar images of the child in 2019, stating that he was injured in the bombardment led by Turkish forces. 

 A France 24 report on October 23, 2019, added that Hamid was transferred to France for treatment after he suffered severe burns in a Turkish military incursion in Syria. 

 Furthermore, an article by Gercek News, a news outlet based in Türkiye, on October 13, 2023, included an exclusive interview with the child, in which he himself clarified his injuries during the Turkish military operations in 2019.

Conflict between Turkish forces in Nothern Syria

A European Parliament briefing from 2019 shows that the Turkish armed forces launched its Operation Peace Spring on October 9, 2019, invading the northeast Syrian region to eliminate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a "terrorist" outfit by Türkiye, the U.S., and the European Union. The conflict led to the displacement of multiple civilians near the border areas. During the conflict, Turkish forces were accused of using internationally banned-white phosphorus against children in Syria, as reported by The Guardian.

The verdict 

A 2019 image showing a Syrian Kurdish child injured by Turkish armed forces has been shared with the false claim that it shows a boy wounded in the bombing by Israel amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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