By: Umme Kulsum
October 16 2023
Screenshots of social media posts claiming the Israel warplane bombing Palestinian homes in Gaza. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
News reports state that the footage shows a Syrian Air Force jet bombing a town in Syria in 2013.
What’s the claim
Amid the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, a video of an explosion is going viral on social media. The clip shows shells falling through the sky and an explosion, after which a huge plume of smoke rises. People sharing the video online have claimed it is a visual of Israel bombing buildings in Gaza. One such post on X (formerly Twitter) was viewed more than 118,000 times. Archived versions of similar posts can be found here and here.
Screenshot of claims made online (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, the clip is old and unrelated to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Here's what we found
We performed a reverse image search using keyframes from the viral video and found the same footage uploaded on YouTube by The Telegraph on May 19, 2013, titled “Footage emerges of Syria airstrike.” The footage from the viral video is visible at the 18 second mark of the Telegraph video. The description stated the video was amateur footage of when a Syrian Air Force jet bombed the Yabroud in Syria.
Screenshot of the video uploaded by The Telegraph in 2013 (Source: YouTube/Screenshot)
The Wall Street Journal also uploaded the same video on their YouTube channel on May 21, 2013. They credited the video clip to the Associated Press. The headline of the video read, “Hezbollah Fighters Clash With Syrian Rebels.”
Syrian Network of Human Rights also used a screenshot from the viral video in its May 13, 2013 report. The report's headline read, “Documentation of the City of Yabroud Massacre in Rif Dimashq.”
Comparison of viral video and YouTube video (Source: Wall Street Journal/YouTube/Screenshot)
Although Logically Facts could not independently verify the exact date and location of the viral video, there is enough evidence to indicate that the clip is from Syria and predates the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
According to Reuters, in early 2013, the Syrian government, supported by Hezbollah fighters, launched a significant offensive to retake the town of Qusayr from rebel forces. The conflict escalated into a full-scale civil war with fighting in various parts of Syria. Cities including Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus witnessed intense clashes between government forces and rebel groups.
News reports confirm that the footage shows an explosion in a neighborhood in Syria and has been shared with the false claim that it shows Israeli warplanes attacking buildings in Gaza during the ongoing conflict. The footage is unrelated to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.