Old photo from Syria shared as children killed in Palestine amid Israel-Hamas war

By: Ishita Goel
October 16 2023

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Old photo from Syria shared as children killed in Palestine amid Israel-Hamas war

A Facebook/X post claiming that the image shows children killed during an attack in Palestine in 2023 (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The image is from the alleged chemical attack that took place in Syria’s Ghouta in 2013 and is unrelated to the current situation in Palestine.

Claim ID 2d60ace0

(Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions and imagery that could be distressing. Reader discretion is advised.)

What is the claim?
As the Israel-Hamas war continues, with the death toll rising on both sides, the Gaza Health Ministry said in a statement that 724 children were among the people killed in Israeli attacks. Against this backdrop, a photo of dead children lying on the ground is viral on social media and is being shared with captions alleging it shows Palestinian victims of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. "My heart is so heavy. May Allah protect the people of #Palestine 🇵🇸 and grant the martyrs the highest level of Jannah," said an X user. Another X user wrote, "CHILD GENOCIDE IN PALESTINE." Archives of these links can be accessed here and here

What is the truth?
Using reverse image search, we located the image on stock image websites Alamy and Getty and found that it dates back to 2013. Getty Images titled the image: “Syria, 'chemical weapon attacks'” and captioned it: “Corpses of children killed by nerve gas after a suspected chemical weapons attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, in August 21, 2013." 

Alamy captioned the image, "Dead children lie on the ground as Syrian rebels claim they were killed in a toxic gas attack by pro-government forces in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus in Syria on August 21, 2013. The Syrian government has denied the claims from the opposition that it has used chemical weapons."

Screenshot of the image on Getty. (Source: Getty Images/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

A National Geographic report titled “How Syria's Chemical Weapons Could Be Disposed Of,” published on September 14, 2021, included the viral image with the caption, “Children lie among the dead outside of Damascus, Syria, on August 21 shortly after they succumbed to chemical weapon poisoning.”

What happened in August 2013?
On August 21, 2013, a deadly chemical attack hit Ghouta, a suburb near the Syrian capital of Damascus. The attack took place two years into the Syrian civil war, a conflict between government forces under the regime of President Bashir al-Assad and opposition forces. According to a report by the United Nations Mission, quoted by DW, their investigation had confirmed that sarin, one of the most toxic chemical warfare agents, was used in the attack.
AP reported that weapons specialists had found that the rocket systems involved were in the Syrian army's arsenal. While Assad was widely held responsible for the attack, the Syrian government has denied ever using chemical weapons and says it has given up all of them under the 2013 agreement, reported AP. 

The verdict
News reports confirm that the photograph was taken in Syria in August 2013, and has no connection to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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