Scroll Top

You are currently viewing the website in language EN. For additional fact-checks and content pertaining to other communities, please use the flag icons to switch languages.

Old military exercise misrepresented as US troops landing in Israel

Old military exercise misrepresented as US troops landing in Israel - Featured image

Author(s): Natalie WADE / AFP USA

TikTok posts purport to show US troops and tanks arriving in Israel to support the country’s war effort against Hamas. This is false; the years-old footage shows a military training event in Australia, and Pentagon officials have said no such mission is planned for the Middle East.

“Emergency Deployment Thousands of Troops and US Military Equipment Lands of(sic) Israeli Beaches,” says text over a November 17, 2023 TikTok post, which shows soldiers arriving on a beach with amphibious landing craft.

Screenshot of a TikTok post taken November 20, 2023

The video has circulated elsewhere on TikTok and other social media platforms, including YouTube and Facebook.

The claims come more than a month after Hamas fighters stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing approximately 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and taking around 240 hostages, according to the country’s latest estimates.

Israel’s retaliatory air strikes and ground invasion have killed more than 13,300 people — also mostly civilians — in Gaza, according to the Palestinian territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

The United States has rushed military equipment to Israel, a top ally in the Middle East, in addition to bolstering its forces in the region and supporting hostage rescue efforts.

But US officials have said since the start of the war that they have no plans to send American forces into combat on behalf of Israel — and the video shared online is unrelated to the conflict.

A reverse image search using screenshots from the clip surfaced the same footage in a July 18, 2017 YouTube video (archived here) published by the US Army.

The caption says: “Exercise Talisman Saber is the largest combined, joint military exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force and provides invaluable experience to ADF and US personnel to improve combat training, readiness and interoperability, exposing participants to a wide spectrum of military capabilities and training experiences.”

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation also shared footage and images of the combat training (archived here), which included some 30,000 American and Australian troops.

AFP has previously debunked other misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war here.

Fact Checker Logo
Originally published here.