Old Video From Iraq Viral As Israeli Forces Capturing Al Aqsa Mosque

BOOM found that the viral video shows a 2004 military operation carried out in the city of Samarra in Iraq.

A nearly seventeen-year-old footage of army troopers storming a mosque is being shared on social media with captions falsely claiming that the video shows the Israeli army taking over the Al Aqsa mosque situated in Old City of Jerusalem.

BOOM found that the viral footage shows a military operation led by the joint forces of the US and Iraqi armies in Samarra city of Iraq in 2004.

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The video is viral against the backdrop of escalating violence between Israel and Palestine. Israel's forcible eviction of Palestinians from the disputed area of Sheikh Jarrah and its raid of the Al-Aqsa mosque on May 10, 2021 that led to clashes between the two groups.

Hamas responded to the raids with missile strikes with Israel counter-attacking. The ongoing bombing has reportedly led to about 150 deaths with a majority being Palestinians.

Also read How Forced Expulsions In Sheikh Jarrah Escalated Israel-Palestine Tensions

The 4-and-half-minute long video shows a military operation. Soldiers can be seen storming their way into what seems to be a mosque. A Hindi caption with the viral video translates to 'Israeli army storms into Al Aqsa mosque and takes it over. As far as we reach till Hamas' surrender will be our new territory - Benjamin Netanyahu #AlJazeera #Mosad #Israel #फिलिस्तीन #IndiaStandsWithIsrael'.

(Hindi: अल-अक्सा मस्जिद को खाली करा अपने कब्जे में ले लिया गया इजरायली सेना के द्वारा। हमास के समर्पण तक जहां हमारी सेना पंहुचेगी, वही हमारी नई सीमा होगी - बेंजामिन नेतन्याहू #AlJazeera #Mosad #Israel #फिलिस्तीन #IndiaStandsWithIsrael)

Click here to watch the video and here for archived link.

The video is viral from several Facebook pages with the similar claims.

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The video is viral with similar claims on Twitter.

Fact Check

BOOM ran a reverse image search on one of the screenshots from the clip and found a YouTube video uploaded in September 2020.

The title with the video in Arabic translates to 'Very rare .. The attack on the Golden Mosque / Mosque of the Imams al-Askari in 2004'.

(English: نادر جدا .. الهجوم على المسجد الذهبي /مسجد الامامين العسكريين 2004)

The description with the video in Arabic translates to 'In 2004, joint forces represented by the US Army and sectors of the Iraqi army from the Special Forces, the 36th Battalion ... and the National Guard, the 202nd Battalion ... and the 7th Battalion ... and the aforementioned forces attacked the city of Samarra under the pretext of the judiciary and liberated it from the Al-Qaeda organization .. Among the battles was the Battle of the Golden Mosque, which the American side declared on its part that it ended with the capture of 20 individuals and the killing of 4'.

We did a keyword search with 'battle of samarra' on YouTube and found another video uploaded in 2020 that shows the same footage albeit a longer one.

The title of the video is 'Historical US Special Forces Raid On Golden Mosque'.

The description section of the video reads 'The raid on the Golden Mosque took place on October 1, 2004 as part of the Battle for Samarra, also known as Operation Baton Rouge. The 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion, led by US special forces troops (possibly 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group), breached the compound after an AH64 Apache eliminated a three-man RPG team in the mosque with Hellfire missiles'.

We found the same video uploaded on the website military.com in 2011.

The description with the video claims that it shows the US and Iraqi Special Forces carry out a 'raid to seize the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq'.

All the videos mention that the incident is from the Battle of Samarra also known as Operation Baton Rouge.

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BOOM did a keyword search with 'operation baton rouge' and found several reports detailing the incident.

According to the 'Iraq war logs: Battle for Samarra killed dozens of innocent people' published in The Guardian October 2010, Operation Baton Rouge was an effort to retake Samarra from the insurgents.

The report further stated that on October 1, 2004, in a joint operation the 36th Iraqi battalion took over the Golden mosque on Obj Monroe in the city. The Golden mosque or the Al-Askari Shrine is considered to be one of the most important shrines for Shia Muslims in the world.

Also read No, This Image Of A Weeping Photog Is Not Related To Al-Aqsa Mosque

Below are videos of violence at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on May 10, 2021.

Claim :   Al Aqsa mosque has been taken over by Israel army
Claimed By :  Social media
Fact Check :  False
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