English, Fake News

This viral image depicting Israeli soldiers holding an ISIS flag is digitally edited


A post accompanying an image of men in army uniform holding an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) flag and Israel national flag is being widely shared across social media platforms with the claim that this photo depicts the Israeli soldiers holding the ISIS flag along with the Israel flag. Through this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here.

Claim: Photo depicting Israeli soldiers holding an ISIS flag along with the Israeli flag.

Fact: The viral photo depicting Israeli soldiers holding an ISIS flag has been digitally edited. The original photo, shared by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on X(Twitter) on 05 June 2023, shows Israeli soldiers holding a flag for the Golani Brigade, a specific unit of the IDF, along with the Israeli national flag. Therefore, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

To verify the authenticity of the viral image, we conducted a Google reverse image search. This search led us to a news report published by ‘The Times of Israel’ on 05 June 2023, which stated that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had sent a delegation of troops to participate in a major American-led military drill held in Morocco and nearby African nations. In the report, we found a similar image, but it does not feature the ISIS flag. Instead, it shows a yellow and green flag with visible Hebrew text that translates to ‘Golani Patrol’ (translated using Google Translate). Similar reports sharing the same photo can be seen here and here.

We then searched for information about the ‘Golani Patrol’ online and discovered that the Golani Brigade is an infantry unit within the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). While the unit’s symbol is an olive tree on a yellow background, the flag shown in the photo features the colours of the Israeli Infantry Corps flag. One of the news reports mentioned the image source as ‘@idfonline/Twitter’. Following this lead, we located the original photo posted by the Israel Defense Forces on their official X(Twitter) account on 05 June 2023, with the caption: ‘A delegation of 12 fighters and commanders from the Golani Patrol unit left yesterday for the ‘African 2023 Lion’ exercise led by the land arm, taking place in Morocco.‘ (Translated from Hebrew to English)

Upon comparing the viral image with the original photo, it becomes evident that the original photo was edited to replace the Golani Brigade flag with the ISIS flag.

To sum it up, this viral image depicting Israeli soldiers holding an ISIS flag is digitally edited.


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