Syrian rebels march during a demonstration in Idlib.
The video features Syrian rebels taking a city in the country's north. Image by AP PHOTO

Video of Syrian rebels peddled as Gaza war footage

Blair Simpson-Wise November 6, 2023

A video shows the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.


False. The video shows Syrian rebels capturing a city in 2015.

Dozens of black-clad gunmen seen marching into a city in a social media video are being linked to the current Israel-Hamas war.

This is false. The footage shows rebels taking over a city in Syria in 2015.

The post is the latest piece of disinformation relating to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

The footage has appeared in stand-alone videos (archived here) and as part of montages supposedly from the current conflict, examples here, here, here and here.

Mideast Battle Post
 The grainy video’s caption and text include multiple references to Israel and Palestine. 

The videos started appearing in the days after Israel announced the start of its ground invasion of Gaza.

The videos show dozens of black-clad fighters holding rifles and walking up an urban street as they chant: “Allahu akbar” which means “God is Great” in Arabic.

The shaky footage shows the fighters then fanning out at a roundabout as a tank passes in the background.

“Israel vs Palestine war today live Israel vs Palestine war,” one of the captions reads.

The posts include hashtags, including “war”, “Israel”, “palestine”, “gaza”, “army” and “soldier”.

Text on one of the videos reads: “israel v Palestine” and “We will win Inshallah.”

However, the footage is not from the current conflict. It is footage from a major battle during the Syrian Civil War eight years ago.

It shows Syrian rebel forces from the Army of Conquest walking the streets of Idlib after capturing the northern city from government forces on March 28, 2015.

Al Jazeera aired the same footage in its report on the rebel offensive from March 29, 2015.

Footage of a burning flag in the Facebook video and of a flag on a billboard in the background matches this YouTube video posted on the same day as the Al Jazeera report.

The Arabic title of the YouTube video translates into English as “Liberation of Idlib”.

Idlib Roundabout
 The distinctive windows in the video appear in a Google user’s photo of the Idlib roundabout. 

Both flags in the video appear to be the flag of Syria.

The flagpole, the garden beds and the fountain on the roundabout, along with the buildings and streets in the background, closely resemble those in this Google user’s photograph of this roundabout on the south side of Idlib.

The distinct window layout on one building entrance in the background of the video clearly matches the building in the background in the Google user’s photo.

AAP FactCheck has debunked similar claims relating to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East here, here, here, and here.

The Verdict

The claim that a video shows the current conflict between Israel and Hamas is false.

The footage shows Syrian rebel forces capturing the city of Idlib back in 2015.

False – the claim is inaccurate.

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