Video From Syria Shared As Presidential Palace Captured By The Taliban

BOOM found the original video which shows a takeover of Idlib city by Syrian rebels in March, 2015.

A 2015 video showing armed rebels moving on the streets of Idlib city in northwestern Syria has been falsely shared on Facebook with claims that it shows the Taliban militia rejoicing after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The video has been shared in the backdrop of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. The Taliban militia entered the presidential palace of ousted Afghan president Ashraf Ghani on August 15, 2021, and reconquered Afghanistan after 20 years, reported Al Jazeera. The capital city of Kabul fell to the Taliban on the same day with the militant group taking control of the country; the Afghanistan government collapsed after reports of Ghani fleeing the country started doing the rounds.

The 2 minutes 44 seconds video shows a flag being taken down and armed rebellion moving on the streets and chanting the "Allahu Akbar" war cry as gunshots can be heard in the video. BOOM found that the video is from Seven Bahrat Square, in Idlib city of Syria; the Syrian rebels, including al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria shot the visuals after taking over the province from the pro-government forces of president Bashar al-Assad.

The video has been captioned on Facebook as, "Very good... With the Taliban in control of the Presidential Palace in Kabul and the US Ambassador fleeing to the airport, Taliban have won the war..."

Click here to see the video and here for an archived link.

Fact Check

We were able to ascertain that the video is not related to the recent Afghanistan takeover by the Taliban after we saw the initial few frames which show the fall of a Syrian Arab Republic national flag. Further, at 24-second time stamp a Syrian national flag was clearly visible on the hoardings.

By doing a reverse image search of the keyframes, BOOM found an old video, which was uploaded on March 29, 2019 by the Syrian news outlet Orient TV. The video was captioned as, "Unforgettable moments from the history of the Syrian revolution, the liberation of Idlib." (Original headline in Arabic: لحظات لاتنسى من تاريخ الثورة السورية تحرير إدلب)

According to a BBC report (February 28, 2019) Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, rival group of the Islamic State (ISIS) captured towns and villages in Idlib province. The report also cited images of seized control of the provincial city of Idlib in 2015 by rebels and jihadists.

Also Read: Old Street Play Video Revived As Taliban Take Over Afghanistan

Taking cue from this, we found an article published on March 29, 2015 on Aljazeera. The article was titled, "Syrian rebels capture Idlib city in joint offensive." The report carried the same viral video of the armed takeover of Syria's northwestern city of Idlib.

Read more about the takeover of Idlib city by the "Fattah Army" coalition on Financial Times and Washington Post.

Geo-locating the video

By searching on Google maps, We found two roundabouts in the Idlib town, which are Roundabout Mirhab and Seven Bahrat Square (Seven fountains, in Arabic: دوار السبع بحرات).

Mirhab Roundabout was captured by rebels during the same time on March 28, 2015. An image crediting Reuters can be seen here.

BOOM located the Seven Bahrat Square on Google Maps, another roundabout on Idlib city, which can be seen on the viral video. An image of Seven Bahrat Square can be seen here.

Below is a comparison of the keyframes of the viral video and the image available on Google Maps.

Claim :   Video shows Taliban takes control of the Presidential Palace in Kabul
Claimed By :  Facebook Post
Fact Check :  False
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