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2004 Clip Used to Claim Israeli Forces Taking Over Al-Aqsa Mosque 

The video shows US and Iraqi troops carrying out an operation at Golden Mosque in Iraq’s Samarra in 2004.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
A viral video of troops carrying out an operation on a mosque complex is being shared to falsely claim that the Israeli forces have taken over the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
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A viral video of troops carrying out an operation on a mosque complex is being shared to falsely claim that the Israeli forces have taken over the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

We found that the video dates back to 2004 when US and Iraqi troops had jointly carried out an operation at the Golden Mosque or Al-Aksari mosque in Iraq’s Samarra.

This comes after Israeli security forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque on 10 May, for the third straight day, escalating the tensions. Hamas had given an ultimatum, demanding Israel to stand down and withdraw its forces from the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

CLAIM

The claim along with the video mentioned that the video showed Israeli forces taking over Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

The video shared by Facebook account ‘Pushpendra Kulshrestha Hindu Yodha’ had garnered over 2,800 shares at the time of publishing the article.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/V8PW-SBDQ">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

Several social media users shared the video on Facebook and Twitter with a similar claim and the archived posts can be viewed here, here and here.

2004 Clip Used to Claim Israeli Forces Taking Over Al-Aqsa Mosque 
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

On carefully looking at the viral visuals uploaded by some users on Facebook, we noticed that it carried a text saying, “Task Force Viper & the 36th Commando Bn. (sic)”

2004 Clip Used to Claim Israeli Forces Taking Over Al-Aqsa Mosque 
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

The 36th Commando Battalion is one of the Iraqi special forces units that was developed after Saddam Hussein’s fall.

We then searched on YouTube using keywords ‘Iraq 36th Commando Bn mosque attack’ and came across a video uploaded by the verified handle of ‘FUNKER530 - Veteran Community & Combat Footage’ on 29 August 2020.

The YouTube video carried similar visuals as the viral video and can be viewed from 01:42 minutes.

Left: Viral video. Right: YouTube video.
Left: Viral video. Right: YouTube video.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

VIRAL VIDEO DATES BACK TO 2004, INCIDENT TOOK PLACE IN IRAQ

The description, along with the video, mentioned that the incident took place in the Golden Mosque or Al-Aksari Mosque in Iraq’s Samarra in October 2004 and the operation was carried out by the 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion and US special forces troops.

We also came across a video uploaded by AP Archive on YouTube in 2015 that mentioned that the footage dated back to October 2004.

2004 Clip Used to Claim Israeli Forces Taking Over Al-Aqsa Mosque 
(Source: YouTube/ Screenshot)
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The description mentioned that the US and Iraqi forces had launched an operation in Samarra. “The coalition forces launched the major assault to retake control of the milita stronghold in the city...Smoke rose from the area around the Imam Ali al-Hadi and Imam Hassan al-Askari shrine, raising concerns about one of the holiest sites for Shia Muslims,” the description added.

Here’s a comparison of the mosque seen in the viral video and the images of Iraq’s Golden mosque and Al-Aqsa mosque, Jerusalem available on Getty images.

Left: Viral video. Middle: Golden mosque. Right: Al-Aqsa mosque.
Left: Viral video. Middle: Golden mosque. Right: Al-Aqsa mosque.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Evidently, an old and unrelated video of a joint operation carried out by US and Iraqi forces at the Golden mosque in Samarra was used to falsely claim that Israel has taken over Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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