Old clips of military exercises shared as U.S. sending troops to Israel

By: Praveen Kumar
November 24 2023

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Old clips of military exercises shared as U.S. sending troops to Israel

Old video clips of different military exercises from around the world have been edited together and shared on social media to claim that thousands of U.S. troops and military equipment were sent to Israel recently. (Source: TikTok/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video clips show military exercises in Australia, Hawaii, and the Philippines, dating as far back as 2017.

Claim ID c56055a9

What's the claim?

A 5-minute 26-second video has been circulating on social media since November 17, 2023, showing military troops and vehicles arriving on beaches. The captions shared along with this video claim the U.S. has sent thousands of military forces and equipment to Israel during the conflict with Hamas.

Many users have shared the video on TikTok, which has raked up thousands of views. Archived posts can be found here, here, and here.

The video with this claim has been widely shared on TikTok. (Source: TikTok/Screenshots)

However, this video is not recent and includes clips of old military exercises held in several locations.

What we found

We conducted a reverse image search on multiple screenshots of the viral video and found that clips from four different videos have been spliced and merged into one long video to make this claim.

Video 1

The viral video opens with an aerial shot of a beach where armed soldiers can be seen arriving on boats. We found the original clip uploaded on YouTube by a verified military video channel called "AiirSource Military" on July 14, 2017. The channel regularly publishes content related to the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. 

The viral video shows Exercise Talisman Saber, a military exercise conducted in July 2017. Several short clips from this video have been edited and used at different timestamps across the viral video. These visuals show military vehicles, hundreds of armed soldiers disembarking from large boats onto the beach, and two aircraft flying in the sky.

The first clip shows a 2017 military exercise for U.S. and Australian troops held in Australia. (Source: TikTok/YouTube/Screenshots)

Part of the YouTube video's description reads, "The land battle phase of Exercise Talisman Saber 2017 was launched on July 13, 2017, with the largest amphibious landing Australian troops had been involved in since the Second World War, with troops and Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles transported ashore via LCM-8 landing craft from an Amphibious Readiness Element including HMAS Canberra, HMAS Choules and HMNZS Canterbury." (sic).

Video 2

The clip showing footage from a boat on the water can be traced back to a video of U.S. Marines' helmet-cam footage uploaded to the website DVIDS (Defense Visual Information Distribution Service) on May 18, 2015. The video is credited to Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos and its description notes that it shows U.S. Marines rehearsing amphibious troop transport in Hawaii on May 18, 2015.

Several clips from this video have also been dispersed across the viral video, including helmet camera footage from a boat, waves, movement on a beach, and three tanks. Between 2:45 and 2:58, an inlaid text appears in the viral clip when the tanks are shown, claiming that the U.S. sent troops and military equipment to Israeli shores. However, the same clip, seen at 1:54 to 1:57 in the DVIDS video, does not contain any such inlaid text.

The second clip shows helmet camera footage from a U.S. Marine training exercise held in 2015 in Hawaii. (Source: TikTok/DVIDS/Screenshots)

Video 3

At the 3:29 timestamp, the viral video shows a short, roughly 19-second clip of military tanks rolling down a ramp. We traced this clip to a video uploaded to YouTube on July 23, 2019, by the official channel of the U.S. Navy, titled "Landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) Operations During Talisman Sabre 2019". According to the video's description, the bilateral and biennial event between the U.S. and Australian military was held off Northern Australia's coast. This clip in the viral video contains an inlaid text about tensions in the Middle East; however, the original U.S. Navy video does not include any such text inside the video.

The third clip shows a military exercise held in Australia in July 2019. (Source: TikTok/YouTube/Screenshots)

Video 4

We traced the last clip, which starts at the 3:38 timestamp and goes on till the end of the viral video, back to a video uploaded to DVIDS on April 9, 2023. The video is credited to Cpl. Stephen Holland and its description shows U.S. Marines preparing for Exercise Balikatan 23 at a beach in Casiguran Bay, Philippines, on April 9, 2023. Balikatan 23 was the annual bilateral exercise between the U.S. and The Philippnes.

The visuals of this video match the ones in the viral video, which show large military vehicles disembarking from boats on the beach and military personnel guiding the movement of those vehicles on land.

The fourth clip shows a military exercise held in The Philippines in April 2023. (Source: TikTok/DVIDS/Screenshots)

Therefore, none of these video clips are recent or filmed anywhere near Israel and are unrelated to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The U.S. and the Israel-Hamas conflict

AP News reported on October 18 that the U.S. had started deploying airships and warcrafts toward Israel after the October 7 Hamas attack. A second round of deployment also took place a week later to deter any chances of the Israel-Hamas conflict escalating into wider regional violence. On October 26, the Pentagon said that about 900 more U.S. troops have reached or are being deployed in the Middle East to support air defenses for U.S. personnel amid increasing attacks by Iran-affiliated groups. While it is unknown how many U.S. troops are based in Israel, reports say the U.S. has at least one military base there. However, Vice President Kamala Harris told CBS in an interview on October 29 that the United States is only providing advice, equipment, and diplomatic support to Israel and would not be sending troops to Israel or Gaza. BBC News reported on November 3 that the Pentagon acknowledged flying unarmed surveillance drones over Gaza in "support of hostage recovery efforts."

The verdict

Old videos of unrelated military exercises have been repurposed and shared on social media to claim that a large number of U.S. troops and military equipment have landed on Israeli beaches recently amid the conflict with Hamas. Therefore, we have marked this claim false.

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