Footage of Syrian massacre shared as Israelis committing war crimes

By: Nikolaj Kristensen
November 6 2023

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Footage of Syrian massacre shared as Israelis committing war crimes

(Source: Facebook/Screenshots)


The Verdict False

The footage was shot in Syria in 2013. It is unrelated to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Claim ID 719f493c


A video of people being shot and thrown in a mass grave is being shared on Facebook as relating to the recent escalation in war between Israel and Gaza. 

“Israeli military are conducting a war crime on the ground operation in Gaza they're doing exactly what Hitler did to them,” writes one user in a post containing the four-and-a-half-minute-long video. Superimposed on the video is the text, “Israeli ground Troop are causing genocide round up but it’s senior civilian in Musgrave and shoot them.” 

The video, however, is not related to the Israel-Hamas conflict. In fact, the video is from 2013 and depicts Syrian executions that were made public in 2022. 

In fact

Through a reverse image search, we discovered a longer version of the video shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) on September 4, 2023, thereby outdating the October 7 attack on Israel and the following escalation of war. According to the X post, the clip shows an execution pit in Syria. 

The Guardian reported on the video in April 2022, recounting how the footage was originally leaked to a pair of war crime researchers at the University of Amsterdam, who verified the video and located it to the Tadamon neighborhood in the Syrian capital, Damascus. The Guardian article contains screenshots and snippets of the video that match the one circulating on Facebook. According to The Guardian, the video was date-stamped April 16, 2013.

The two Amsterdam researchers published a piece in New Lines Magazine detailing how the video shows Syrian military personnel executing civilians as part of a massacre of 288 people in 2013.

Syria has been plagued by war since civil war broke out in 2011. 

The verdict

The video shows a massacre of civilians in Damascus, Syria, in 2013. It has been falsely linked to the current escalation in war between Israel and Hamas. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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