The damaged Al-Askari Shrine in 2006 (file image)
An Iraqi policeman guards the damaged Al-Askari Shrine in Samarra in 2006. Image by AP PHOTO

Iraq War footage rehashed as Gaza conflict

Nyk Carnsew November 9, 2023

A video shows a gun battle between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.


False. The footage is from the Iraq War in 2004.

A Facebook video purports to show Israel’s ground invasion in Gaza, including a raid on a mosque.

This is false. The footage is actually from the Iraq War almost 20 years ago.

The video (screenshot here), posted on November 7, is titled and captioned “israel vs palestine war updates live Israel Vs Gaza” and claims to be “Recorded live”.

The content of the video is an eight-hour loop of about seven minutes of war footage.

The main clip, showing soldiers raiding a mosque with a prominent golden dome and minarets, is spliced between shorter montages of Middle East war footage.

A screenshot from the Facebook video.
 The Al-Askari Shrine’s golden dome and minarets are clearly seen in the video. 

At multiple points in the video, soldiers can be heard speaking English with American accents.

A reverse image search of the video reveals the scene is not from Gaza or Israel.

It is from a raid of the Al-Askari Shrine during the Battle of Samarra in 2004.

The correctly labelled footage was posted on YouTube in 2020.

The offensive on Samarra, north of Baghdad, was waged by US and Iraqi government forces against Ba’ath Party militants, who took the city following the capture of their leader and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The Al-Askari Shrine – sometimes called the Golden Mosque – is known for its distinct golden dome, which can be seen at several points in the video.

The shrine is one of the most important Shi’ite holy sites. Due to its religious significance, the raid was led by Iraqi forces.

The footage has previously been falsely claimed to show an Israel Defence Forces raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

AAP FactCheck has debunked similar claims presenting unrelated footage as being part of the conflict in the Middle East, as seen here and here.

The Verdict

The claim a Facebook video shows Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza, including a raid on a mosque, is false.

The footage is from the Iraq War, primarily of a raid on the Al-Askari Shrine in 2004.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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