By: Rajini KG
August 9 2023
A video of Syria's Abbara market has been misrepresented as visuals from Sweden and shared with a false narrative.
A video circulating on social media claims to show a market in Sweden proving that the country has become “occupied by migrants.” The caption reads, "This is Sweden in 2023. Notice the lack of actual Swedes. Sweden is an occupied country." The archive of the post can be found here.
However, the video is not related to Sweden and was filmed at the Al-Abbara market in Aleppo, Syria.
Through a reverse image search, we found a longer version of the viral clip on the YouTube channel Safartas titled titled "Aleppo Downtown Walking tour, Abbara Market | Syria 2022," uploaded on June 5, 2022. The portion of the video shown in the viral clip starts at the 1:03 mark. A distinctive fountain visible in the viral video can be seen at the 1:40 mark of the longer video. Therefore, it confirms that the viral video is an edited video of the longer version of Abbara Market.
A reverse image search on the video keyframe at the 0:15 timestamp showed us that the video is from Syria. We found the same distinctive fountain, and the tower of the Abbara mosque behind it, on the Alamy stock photo website titled "Shopping center downtown modern city Aleppo, Syria." The photo was taken by Peter Horree in 2011.
A Facebook page called Halab Today TV قناة حلب اليوم posted the same image of the fountain on December 13, 2017.
Google Earth results for "Abbara Street, Aleppo," show the location of the fountain and mosque in Aleppo, Syria.
Old footage from Syria has been shared with the false claim that it shows a street in Sweden and that Sweden is an “occupied country.” Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.