Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

TS468

Incident date

April 19, 2021

Location

صيدا, Sayda, Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

32.6290749, 36.2233829 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

At least three civilians were injured in alleged Turkish artillery shelling on the village of Saida in Ain Issa on April 29, 2021.

According to Almasirah, “a number of civilians were injured as a result of the Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries… with artillery shells on the perimeter of the town of Ain Issa.” The artillery shells struck “the population centers in the village of Saida and the vicinity of Ain Issa town and the roads leading to it,” resulting in injuries and damage to homes and property.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “the bombardment targeted a petrol station on the western outskirts of Ain Issa, which injured three people and burned down an oil truck.” Turkish forces had also reportedly shelled similar areas the day before, April 18th, but no casualties were claimed.

Various other sources also reported that alleged Turkish shelling occurred in residential areas and caused injuries and damage to property, but did not identify how many civilians were injured. All of the sources attributed the shelling to Turkish forces or pro-Turkish factions.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Caption translation: a number of civilians were injured as a result of the Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries from the takfiri groups with artillery shells on the perimeter of the town of Ain Issa. (Image posted by Almasirah)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a petrol station in the village of Sayda  (صيدا). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Akeerbat are: 32.6290749, 36.2233829.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI057

Incident date

March 19, 2021

Location

سنين , Seneen, Erbil, Iraq

Geolocation

36.741085, 44.396610 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were reportedly injured in a Turkish airstrike or helicopter attack on a car, according to local reports.

According to Rudaw News, “Turkish warplanes targeted a civilian vehicle in northeastern Erbil province late on Friday, injuring two passengers, a local official and a border guard told Rudaw.  A civilian vehicle carrying four passengers was targeted by the Turkish army in Sinin village in the Sidakan subdistrict near the border with Iran, Sidakan Mayor Ihsan Chalabi told Rudaw’s Bakhtiyar Qadir. The vehicle was a Toyota Hilux pickup.”

Rudaw also featured a video on Twitter of one of the two civilian victims it said were injured, named as Luqman Rasul.

Nabd said the attack had instead been carried out by helicopter, and named both victims. “A Turkish helicopter bombed this Friday evening, a civilian car, a Toyota Hilux, in the Sidekan district of Erbil, wounding two people. The director of Sidekan district, Ihssan Chalabi, told Rudaw Media Network, ‘The Turkish air force targeted a civilian car in Seneen village in the sub-district.’

“According to the preliminary information obtained by Rudaw’s correspondent, Bakhtiar Qadir, the car was carrying four people who were on their way to transport livestock from Iranian Kurdistan. As a result of the bombing, two people were wounded, Zikry Haji Majeed and Luqman Jattu.”

 

The incident occured in the evening.

  • Luqman Rasul or Jattu Adult male injured
  • Zikry Haji Majeed Adult male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Luqman Rasul receiving treatment (screengrab via Rudaw video)
  • A vehicle reportedly damaged in a Turkish jet or helicopter strike near Sinen, Kurdistan on March 19th 2021 (via Nabd)
  • A vehicle reportedly damaged by a Turkish strike, March 19th 2021 (via Shafaq News)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Seneen (سنين), allegedly located within the Sidekan (سيدكان) district, also known as Bradost. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further, however research shows a Mount Bradost which is located in the area mentioned by sources. The generic coordinates for Mount Bradost are: 36.741085, 44.396610.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS467

Incident date

March 19, 2021

Location

الحيدريات, Al Hadaryat, Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

36.387809, 38.862934 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

A 12 year old child was among three civilians killed, with up to four others injured, in what was described as a Turkish rocket or artillery strike on the village of Al-Hadaryat.

According to NPA, Turkish strikes had begun in retaliation for the firing of two missiles into Turkey’s Kilis province by alleged Syrian regime forces. Turkish president Erdogan was cited as saying that “Of course, this the regime’s practices, and we responded to them.”

Turkish artillery strikes were reported in a number of areas around Ain Issa, with one attack on the evening of March 19th hitting al-Hadaryat. Along with the death of 12 year old Mahmoud al-Khalil, up to five other civilians were initially reported injured. Ugarit Post named those wounded as Abdullah Omar Abdullah, Najib Hamida, Zahrat Al-Sahl, Iman Al-Sahw and Aziza Al-Jokhaidem. The injured were first treated in Ain Issa before being moved to Raqqa.

Hawar News was alone in saying that four civilians had been injured and one killed, in what it said were both artillery and rocket strikes.

Reports said that two additional civilians had subsequently died of injuries sustained in the attack – named as Zahra Saleh Al Samou, aged 25 (who died on the morning of March 23rd according to Xeber 24 and Hawar News); and Iman Saleh Al-Samou, who died on the same day according to Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently.

The incident occured in the evening.

  • Mahmoud Hamidi Al-Khalil 12 years old male killed
  • Abdullah Omar Abdullah Age unknown male injured
  • Najib Ibrahim Hamida or Hamidi Age unknown male injured
  • Zahra Saleh Al Samou 25 years old female killed
  • Iman Saleh Al-Samou Adult female killed
  • Aziza Al-Jokhaidem or Jukhaidem Adult female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (1 child2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • A civilian injured in a reported Turkish strike on a Syrian village on March 19th 2021 (via ANHA)
  • A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Zahra al-Samu, who died of injuries sustained in a likely Turkish attack March 19th 2021 (via Hawar News)
  • 'The death of the young woman, Iman Saleh Al-Samou, as a result of her injury due to the Turkish bombing that occurred two days ago on the village of Al-Hadriyat, near the town of Ain Issa. '

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Hadariyat (الحيدريات), allegedly located south east of Ain Issa (عين عيسى). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Ain Issa are: 36.387809, 38.862934.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (1 child2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS466

Incident date

March 14, 2021

Location

الزنفل, Al Zanfil, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.613878, 37.823240 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A child was reported killed and others injured, also including children, in alleged Turkish or pro-Turkey militants shelling on Zankil village, east of Manbej, Aleppo on March 14th.

The child victim was identified as Yamen Ali Ayntabi. It was reported that the shelling took place in the morning.

North Press Agency said that the Turkish shelling targeted the village’s school. “Turkish shelling targeted the village’s school, killing an eight-year-old child and injuring another, who was transferred to a hospital in the city.”

ANHA said that four mortars landed in the village and that “as a result, the child Furqan Ibrahim Ayntabi and the child Yasser Ibrahim Ayntabi were severely injured, while the child Yamen Ali Ayntabi was killed instantly.”

The incident occured at 9:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Two children were reported injured in alleged Turkish shelling on Zankil village in Manbej on March 14th. (image via ANHA)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a school being struck in the village of Al Zanfil (الزنفل). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Zanfil are: 36.613878, 37.823240.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Published

February 25, 2021

Written by

Mohammed al Jumaily

A renewed campaign by Turkey in mid February against a Kurdish militant faction – which has seen Turkish troops pushing deeper than ever before into northern Iraq – also saw the deaths of thirteen Turkish civilian and military captives in a highly controversial attack, Airwars monitoring of the region shows.

On February 10th, the Turkish Armed Forces launched a major air and ground operation codenamed Operation Claw Eagle 2 against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Gara Mountain in Dohuk Governorate in northern Iraq. The PKK is designated as a terrorist group by the EU and the United States among others, though some Kurds view the group as a liberation organisation. 

Turkey has launched a number of operations against the PKK in northern Iraq in recent years, the most recent being Operations Claw Eagle and Tiger in June 2020, which took place in the Qandil Mountains, the Sinjar District, and Makhmur. 

According to Turkish military expert Levent Kemal, the military campaigns against the PKK have been effective in reducing the group’s operational capabilities. “The PKK’s [ability to] infiltrate into Turkey has been noteworthily reduced thanks to these operations. In particular, PKK infiltration routes have been under control and guerrilla hideouts in the Bradost area have been destroyed. In the West, in Zakho and Duhok areas, cooperation between the Turkish Armed Forces and the Kurdistan Democtatic Party’s (KDP) Peshmerga forces annihilated PKK’s presence near the Turkish border, forcing the PKK to retreat further south”.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defence, the purpose of the most recent operation was to clear the PKK from the mountains, which it said had been used as a transit area for PKK fighters to cross from Iraq to Turkey; and also to secure the border to prevent what the ministry described as an imminent “large-scale attack” on Turkish forces in Iraq. 

Another stated goal of Operation Claw Eagle 2 was to rescue Turkish captives held by the PKK. More than a dozen civilians and military personnel had been abducted by the PKK within Turkey in recent years, and were being held captive in Duhok. 

The early hours of Operation Claw Eagle 2 saw Turkish aircraft reportedly bombing six villages in the area, causing severe damage to local vineyards and agricultural lands. The Turkish Minister of Defence, Hulusi Akar, claimed that 50 PKK targets were destroyed including air raid shelters, ammunition depots, and headquarters in the initial aerial bombardment. While no civilians were believed harmed during the attack as almost all inhabitants had apparently fled the area, locals say that the operation had nevertheless severely affected their livelihoods. 

Kurdish analyst Abdulla Hawez assessed the impact of the campaign on local communities, saying that while civilians weren’t killed in the operation, “Turkish warplanes and drones were extensively bombarding dozens of locations; overall 90 villages were affected and were within the scope of the operation”.

The airstrikes were followed by a ground attack led by Turkish commandos against the  People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the military wing of the PKK. According to Minister Akar, 50 PKK fighters were killed in the operations and three members of the Turkish forces died. However, figures from Kurdish sources differed considerably, with ANF claiming that only 14 PKK fighters were killed as well as more than 30 Turkish soldiers.

‘Prisoners of war’

On the third day of operations, thirteen Turkish nationals that were being held captive by the PKK in a location close to the village of Siyane were found dead by Turkish forces. According to both Kurdish and Turkish sources, some of those killed were civilians. Among the civilians killed were Sedat Yabalak, a civilian police officer and father of three in charge of Şanlıurfa Police Department; and Aydin Köse, a resident of the city of Adıyaman. Along with others, both men had been seized in Turkey by the PKK and held captive for several years in Kurdistan. 

12 of the 13 Turkish captives killed in the Gara Mountain (via Muhsin.guler Facebook)

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defence, Turkish forces discovered the dead bodies of the thirteen captives after entering a bunker, suggesting that the PKK had executed them. However, the PKK has contested these claims, asserting that the captives were instead killed by Turkish airstrikes during the initial bombardment of Gara Mountain. 

According to a PKK statement, the “camp where prisoners of war belonging to the Turkish security forces were held has been attacked in Gare. The camp was intensively bombed from the air at five o’clock [not clear if am or pm] on February 10th…. After this strike, the occupying Turkish army retreated a bit. Although it knew that there were prisoners there, the camp was again intensively bombed by fighter jets. The bombardment, which lasted for three days, and the fierce battles inside and outside the camp resulted in the death of some of the MIT members, soldiers and policemen we had captured.”

The deaths of the prisoners caused outrage across Turkey, with the Presidency’s media director, Fahrettin Altun emphasising Turkey’s intent to “chase down every last terrorist hiding in their caves and safe houses” and exact “painful” revenge and “swift” justice. There were fears that Turkey could use the captives’ deaths as a pretext to expand operations against Kurdish militant groups in northern Iraq, causing more peril for civilians.

“I expect the Turkish government to use the deaths to expand its military operations against the PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey may also attack Sinjar but this may have far more ramifications as pro-Iran militias are widely present in Sinjar and are allied with PKK-backed Yazidi groups”, explained Hawez.

These expectations may soon be realised, given the increasingly hawkish rhetoric adopted by Ankara following Operation Claw Eagle 2. Speaking at a party rally on February 15th, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed his desire to expand operations outside of Turkey in response to the botched rescue attempt in Gara, saying “we will extend our operations to areas where danger exists. We will stay in those areas we secure as long as necessary.”

▲ Relatives of Sergeant Mevlut Kahveci, one of the captives killed in the Gara Mountains of northern Iraq, mourn at his funeral ceremony on February 15th (via duvarenglish)

Incident Code

TI056

Incident date

February 10–14, 2021

Location

جبل غارا, Mount Gara, Dohuk, Iraq

Geolocation

37.013345, 43.370045 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

Thirteen Turkish nationals being held captive by the PKK in a location close to village Siyane in the Gare/Gara region in northern Iraq were killed – either during an alleged Turkish airstrike, or executed by the PKK, according to conflicting Kurdish and Turkish sources.

There was however broad agreement that some of those killed were civilians. All of the victims, as detainees, were non combatants. The date of the incident is unclear. Reports of killing the prisoners surfaced on February 14th but the Turkish operation on Gara started on February 10th.

According to Turkish Minute, the bodies of 13 Turkish hostages were found in the Gara region following the launch of Turkish operations there on February 10th. The source said “On Sunday the pro-Kurdish party expressed “deep sadness” over the deaths of the 13 Turks in Iraq, calling on the PKK to free its remaining prisoners.”

Stripes.come said that they Turkish operation was launched to free the Turkish prisoners. “The bodies of the 13 victims were discovered in a cave complex in northern Iraq’s Gara region, near the Turkish border, during an operation against the PKK, launched on Feb. 10, that had aimed to free the hostages.”

Haber Turk reported that the bodies of the thirteen killed Prisoners of War (PoWs) were taken to Malatya for autopsy. Twelve out of 13 were identified as: Expert Sergeant Hüseyin Sarı; the civilian police commander Sedat Yabalak; Gendarmerie Petty Officer Semih Özbek; Police Officer Vedat Kaya; Jandirma Private Süleyman Sungur; Specialist Private Mevlit Kahveci; Gunner Private Müslüm Altıntaş; Private Adil Kabaklı; Aydın Köse; and Umit Gicir, The civilian was Muhammet Salih Kanca, and the contracted soldier Sedat Sorgun.

The source published the following details about nine of the victims:

  • Sedat Yabalak, a civilian police officer and father of three in charge of Şanlıurfa Police Department in Turkey was abducted by the PKK on July 28th 2015 on the Lice-Diyarbakır highway, in front of his wife Burcu Yabalak and their three children, while returning from Erzurum.
  • Private Adil Kabaklı, during his military service, was abducted on the Tunceli Pülümür highway in Turkey while returning to his unit in Ağrı on October 2, 2015.
  • Expert Sergeant Mevlüt Kahveci, aged 31 and referred to as a specialized Gendarmerie Sergeant, was kidnapped by the PKK at a roadblock near Doğanlıköyü in Hakkari’s Çukurca district in Turkey in September 2016.
  • Air Defense Specialist Sergeant Hüseyin Sarı’s, aged 32, was kidnapped by the PKK on the Diyarbakır-Bingöl Highway in Turkey on August13th 2015.
  • Vedat Kaya was a civilian police officer in Istanbul. He and his wife were kidnapped in 2016 by the PKK at a roadblock in the Lice district of Diyarbakır in Turkey while he was returning to his hometown for his brother’s wedding convoy
  • Aydın Köse: No details about the date he was kidnapped by Haber Turk. Mürvet Karakoç mentioned that he is registered of the population of Adıyaman. He was referred to as a civilian by sources including Muhsin.guler.
  • Staff Petty Officer Sergeant Major Semih Özbey was detained by the PKK on the Tunceli-Erzincan highway in Turkey on September 18th 2015.
  • Süleyman Sungur, while doing his military service, was abducted by the PKK from a bus on the Lice road to his hometown Siirt in Turkey in 2015.
  • Private Sedat Sorgun, who was serving as a military officer in Van, was kidnapped by the PKK at a roadblock near Diyarbakır Lice in 2015.

@Kche_shakh tweeted “13 Turkish civilians were killed on the Gara mountains the highest mountains range in southern Kurdistan. Wondering what the Turkish civilians were doing there?”.

The list included the ten names identified by the Turkish Ministry of Defense twitter account as the killed prisoners of war, in addition to three additional names of belligerents likely killed while participating in the Turkish military operation. They are Ertug Guler, Burak Coscun and Harun Turhan. The Turkish minister of defence said that three soldiers were killed during the operation and three others were wounded.

Held captive for many years by the PKK in Kurdistan, their plight was raised by MPs many times back in Turkey, calling for their release. Turkey and the PKK are now accusing each other of responsibility for the killing of the 13 captive Turkish nationals:

Turkey launched its Eagle Claw 2 operation on the Gare region of northern Iraq on February 10th, where the 13 hostages were being held in a cave there.

A statement later issued by the PKK gave the group’s side of the story. They accused Turkey of killing the prisoners during an operation that had begun on February 10th. “A camp where prisoners of war belonging to the Turkish security forces were held has been attacked in Gare. The camp was intensively bombed from the air at five o’clock [not clear if this is am or pm] on February 10th. This was followed by a ground attack in which every form of war technology was used. In order to protect themselves and the prisoners, our forces located in the camp under bombardment gave the necessary response to the occupiers and hit them effectively.”

The PKK statement continued: “After this strike, the occupying Turkish army retreated a bit. Although it knew that there were prisoners there, the camp was again intensively bombed by fighter jets. The bombardment, which lasted for three days, and the fierce battles inside and outside the camp resulted in the death of some of the MIT members, soldiers and policemen we had captured. That no one would survive such a fierce attack was clear to anyone with basic military knowledge. The attack was not aimed at liberating the prisoners of war, but at destroying them.”

Kurdistan Democratic Communities Union said that YPG also published videos showing the Turkish bombardment of the location where the POWs had been held on February 14th.

By contrast, Turkey accused the PKK of executing the prisoners. Stripes.com for example reported Turkish officials as saying that “Twelve of the victims were shot in the head and one died of a shoulder bullet wound.”

Turkey’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar made a statement on the Gara operation to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. He said that it wasn’t possible to target the area where the cave is located because of the geographical location and structure. “due to the location and the terrain, the mountain ranges and the difficulty of reaching here, the operation has not been carried out in Gara.”

The minister was also reported by TGRT Haber TV as saying that “in the attack and in response to the shooting and the grenades from inside the cave, we only used teargas bombs. ”

The deaths of 13 unarmed Turkish nationals caused uproar in Turkey. President Erdogan reportedly vowed to expand cross-border operations against the Kurdish group in northern Iraq. Erdogan was quoted as saying “that the killings have strengthened Turkey’s will to form a secure zone along its border in northern Iraq to protect Turkey’s frontiers from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.”

The US State Department released a statement on February 14th condemning the deaths: “The United States deplores the death of Turkish citizens in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. We stand with our NATO Ally Turkey and extend our condolences to the families of those lost in the recent fighting. If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”

Anadolu Agency on Twitter said that “In call with Turkish FM, [US Secretary of State] Blinken affirmed US ‘view that PKK terrorists bear responsibility’ for Turkish civilians martyred in N.Iraq.” The Afghan government also condemned the incident, and blamed the PKK for the killing of the prisoners. And the Turkish Ministry of Defence tweeted that the UK’s Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace had “extended his condolences for the Turkish personnel and citizens that were martyred in Gara by the PKK terrorist organization.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Muhammet Salih Kanca 38 years old male killed
  • Hüseyin Sarı 32 years old male Expert Sergeant killed
  • Sedat Yabalak Age unknown male Police Officer killed
  • Semih Özbek Age unknown male Gendarmerie Petty Officer killed
  • Vedat Kaya 28 years old male Police Officer killed
  • Süleyman Sungur 27 years old male Jandirma Private killed
  • Mevlit Kahveci 31 years old male Specialist Private killed
  • Müslüm Altıntaş Age unknown male Gunner Private killed
  • Adil Kabaklı Age unknown male killed
  • Aydın Köse Age unknown male killed
  • Sedat Sorgun 35 years old male Contracted soldier killed
  • Umit Gicir 35 years old male specialized gendarmerie sergeant killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 13
  • (7–13 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (34) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (26) [ collapse]

  • Statement by the command of the Central People's Defence Forces Headquarters (via @ameddicleT).
  • Statement by the command of the Central People's Defence Forces Headquarters (via @ameddicleT).
  • A list of names of Turkish nationals killed in Gare region. In addition to names of ten prisoners of war, the list includes names of three Turkish soldiers killed during the operation. Via @Kche_shakh
  • Police officer Sedat Yabalak was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Adil Kabaklı was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Specialist sergeant Mevlüt Kahveci was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10/14th (via Haber turk)
  • Uzman Çavuş Hüseyin Sarı'nın was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Vedat Kaya was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Aydın Köse was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Gendarmerie Staff Petty Officer Sergeant Major Semih Özbey was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Süleyman Sungur was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Sedat Sorgun was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Via the Turkish Ministry of National Defence.
  • Images of three of the killed PoW tweeted by the Turkish MoD.
  • Via the Turkish Ministry of National defence
  • Images of two of the PoW killed in Gara in Iraq, posted by the Turkish MoD.
  • Via the Turkish Ministry of National Defence.
  • Images of five if the PoW killed, tweeted by the Turkish MoD.
  • Aydın KÖSE. one of 13 Turkish prisoners of war reported killed as a result of a Turkey operation in Gara mountains, or were executed by PKK. (image via Aziz kose, Aydin's brother).
  • Nine of the 13 killed Turkish prisoners of war who were held captive by the PKK in Gara mountain in Iraq. (via Mürvet Karakoç).
  • According to Sabah News, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar released this image claiming it is of the PKK member who executed the Turkish prisoners. His name is Kamuran Ataman, the cave manager, nicknamed "Sorej".
  • Images of 12 Turksih prisoners of war killed allegedly as a result of Turkish airstrikes on a cave where they were kept in Gara, Iraq, or executed by PKK. Image via Muhsin.guler.
  • Two of the three Turkish soldiers killed in the operation in Gara between Feb 10th and 14th. (via the Turkish ministry of defence).
  • One of the three Turkish soldiers killed in the operation in Gara between Feb 10th and 14th. (via the Turkish ministry of defence).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a cave allegedly located within Mount Gara (جبل غارا) of the Amadiya (العمادية) district. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the summit of Mount Gara are: 37.013345, 43.370045.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 13
  • (7–13 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (34) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS465

Incident date

February 10, 2021

Location

الدشيشة, Al Darisha, Hassakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.648296, 40.282423 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A number of civilians including a 6-year-old child were reported injured in Turkish or pro-Turkey forces shelling on residential areas in Tal Tamr in Hasakah, Syria on February 10th, 2021. @baze_kurd said the child was seriously injured.

The child was identified by local sources as Yazan Mohammad Ali, while one source had a different variation of the name; Rizan Mohammad.

ANHA said the child is originally from Al-Dishisha village. The source reported that “the village of al-Tawila and that of al-Dishisha adjacent to the Aleppo- Hasaka International Highway known as the M4, were shelled by the Turkish Occupation Forces and the affiliated mercenary groups with artillery and mortar shells heavily in which Yezen Mohamed Ali, 6, from the village of Dishisha was injured in addition to some material damage.”

However, althawrah reported from the Syrian News Agency (SANA) that the child was injured in Al-Arisha village, not Al-Dashisha as other sources mentioned.

ASO network said the child was injured when a mortar shell landed and exploded near him while he was grazing sheep, and that he was taken to Al-Shaab hospital in Hasaka with wounds in different parts of his body as Ezdina reported. Afterwards, his condition was described as stable.

Basnews said that Turkey and pro-militants targeted sites of Syrian Democratic Forces in Tal Tamr on the day when the child was injured. Also reported that Turkish shelling on the M4 International road with heavy weapons led to the suspension of traffic on the M4 between the towns of Tal Tamer and Ain Issa.

No further information is available.

The incident occured around midday.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Translation: Civilians injured including a child in a Turkish shell attack on the outskirts of Tal Tamr on the outskirts of #Hassaké in #Syrie. ( SANA)
  • Yazan (or Rizan) Mohammad, aged 6, was reported in alleged Turkey shelling on Tal Tamr, Hasaka on Feb 10th, 2021. (via Hawar News).
  • An image shared by Ezdina taken from social media in connection to the incident of alleged Turkey shelling on Dashisha village in Tal Tamr on Fab 10th. It shows damage to a wall as a result of shrapnel.
  • An image shared by Ezdina taken from social media in connection to the incident of alleged Turkey shelling on Dashisha village in Tal Tamr on Fab 10th.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Darisha (الدشيشة), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.648296, 40.282423. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI055

Incident date

February 2, 2021

Location

شێنێ, Shene, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

Geolocation

37.092003, 43.486966 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

A woman was injured in alleged Turkish airstrikes on the village of Shene in Halsho sub-district, Sulaymaniyah governorate, on February 2nd, 2021, according to local sources.

NRT English reported that “a 40-year-old civilian woman was wounded when Turkish warplanes bombed the outskirts of the village of Shene in the Raparin administration’s Halsho sub-district late on Tuesday morning (February 2).” The victim was brought to a hospital in Qaladze for treatment. Kurdistan24, however, reported that the victim was a 25-year-old woman from the village.

According to reporter Sabr Adulla, Turkish warplanes targeted the vicinity of the village five times, including targets approximately 400 meters from the village’s center. Locals told NRT that their houses had been damaged in the strikes. According to Roj News, the village was hit seven times.

@EnglishZhyan posted a video of the strikes with the caption: “Video shows moment a Turkish airstrike hits areas nearby civilian houses in the Kurdish village of Shene in Qaladze’s Pshdar area, causing damage to the houses.”

Mayor of the Halsho sub-district Bakir Waysi told Kurdistan24: “The airstrikes targeted the village and its peripheries.” At the time, the civilian casualties and material damages were unknown because authorities were unable to access the village yet.

All sources blamed Turkey for the strikes.

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Screenshot of a video posted by Kurdistan24 of alleged Turkish airstrikes on Shene, Sulaymaniyah governorate, on February 2nd, 2021 (via @obretix).
  • Photo of alleged Turkish airstrikes on the village of Shene, Sulaymaniyah governorate, on February 2nd, 2021 (via NRT).
  • Photo of alleged Turkish airstrikes on the village of Shene, Sulaymaniyah governorate, on February 2nd, 2021 (via Kurdistan24).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Shene (شێنێ) being struck. According to research conducted by @obretix, the exact coordinates for this strike are: 37.092003, 43.486966. Cross referencing source material, we can confirm the accuracy of this location.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]