The video is not a footage from the clashes between the Russian and Ukrainian army. The video originally shows US Special Forces raiding the Golden Mosque in Iraq in 2004.
Russian forces have launched a major military assault on Ukraine, with reports of missile strikes and explosions near major cities of the country. In a televised speech, Mr Putin announced a “military operation” in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
In the backdrop of the ongoing clashes between Russia and Ukraine, social media users are sharing a video of an army attacking a mosque claiming that the video shows real footage of the Russian army and Ukrainian army fighting in the field.
The caption of the viral post states, “BIG BREAKING… RUSSIA VS UKRAINE WAR Russian army and Ukraine army fighting fresh,”
We started our investigation by running a keyword search on YouTube, which led us to the same video posted on 20 May 2021 with the caption “Task Force viper & the 36th commando Bn” This makes it clear that the video is not a recent footage of the tension between Russia and Ukraine.
Another YouTube video posted on 25 March 2021 with the caption “US and Iraqi Special Forces Raid on Golden Mosque | October 1st, 2004. | Samarra, Iraq.” The description of the video states “During the Battle for Samarra, also known as Operation Baton Rouge. US Special Forces and the 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion were in this assault.”
Another verified YouTube channel named FUNKER530 – Veteran Community & Combat Footage, shared the longer version of the viral video. The caption of the video reads, “Historical US Special Forces Raid on Golden Mosque”. The video was uploaded on August 29, 2020.
The description 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.”
Below you can see a comparison image between the Golden mosque seen in the video and the image of the Imam Hassan al-Askari shrine taken on October 2, 2004 by AFP.
The caption of the AFP photo reads, “A US humvee patrols past the golden mosque of Imam Hassan al-Askari in Samarra, 02 October 2004. The situation in this city was largely under control today except for some pockets of resistance, the Iraqi government said, a day after a fierce US-Iraqi offensive to retake the city from Sunni Arab insurgents”.
According to the Los Angeles Times on October 6, 2004, as the US troops cleared insurgent strongholds and pounded the city with airstrikes, four units of Iraqi forces seized sensitive buildings, such as the Golden Mosque and its ancient minaret.
Fact Crescendo found the viral video on social media to be False. This video shows US Special Forces raid on Golden Mosque in Iraq in 2004. The video does not show footages of the ongoing clashes between Russian and Ukrainian army.
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Title:18 Year Old Video from Iraq shared as clashes between Russian and Ukrainian army.Fact Check By: Aavya Ray