These photos show two Syrian boys in 2016

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on May 25, 2021 at 09:30
  • 2 min read
  • By AFP Thailand
As deadly fighting escalated between Israel and Palestinian militants, photos of two boys hugging surfaced on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim they show Palestinian brothers reunited after their house was hit by an Israeli air strike. However, the claim is false; the photos show two Syrian boys mourning the loss of their brother who was killed in Aleppo City in August 2016.  

The photos were shared here on Facebook on May 17, 2021. The post has since been shared more than 160 times.


The Thai-language caption translates to English as: “Are you still alive, brother? Images of two brothers who finally found each other after they were separated when Israel launched air strikes on Palestine"

“A picture speaks a thousand words,” it adds.

The photos emerged online as violence erupted in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestinian militants. AFP reported that more than 200 Palestinians, including 61 children have been killed.

The same photos were shared alongside an identical claim in English here on Facebook, and here and here on Twitter.

The claim, however, is false. The photos are screenshots from footage showing two Syrian boys mourning the loss of their brother who was killed in Aleppo City in 2016. 

AFP conducted a reverse image search on Google and found this video published by a media foundation, Aleppo Media Centre (AMC) on YouTube on August 25, 2016.

“Two children cried for their brother, who was killed by a barrel bomb in Bab al-Nairab neighborhood on August 25, 2016,” the video’s Arabic-language caption reads.

Bab al-Nairab is a historical gate based in the Ancient City of Aleppo in northern Syria.

Below are the screenshot comparisons of the photos in the misleading post (L) and video uploaded by AMC (R):


The Washington Post also published the same video on August 27, 2016 in an article headlined “Fate of Syrian boys captured on video mourning loss of brother unknown”.

“The fate of two boys seen weeping on video and embracing over the loss of their brother in an Aug.25 bombing attack in Aleppo City is unknown. An airstrike hit the funeral of the boys' brother on Aug. 27 and the pair were thought to be present,” the photo caption reads.


AFP has previously debunked various false claims about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict here.

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us