Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1962

Incident date

July 21, 2021

Location

خربة الجاموس, Kharbet Al Janous, Al Hassaka, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between one and three people, including a child, were killed and others were injured in Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) strikes on Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. Various sources report that a child was killed in the operation while other sources report that between one and three members of ISIS were killed.

The Syrian Arab News Agency reported that “Three persons were killed and many others were injured in an attack by US occupation warplanes in Jamous village, east Hasaka” and that the helicopters launched missiles at a house for several hours, killing and injuring all who were inside. Various other sources also referred to “three people” as being killed in the strikes.

Al Khabour posted on Facebook that three people, including a child, were killed “on the pretext of the presence of ISIS cells inside it”.

@modar28 tweeted that the SDF had raided a home and killed the child Osama Adnan Al-Hamid and “to hide the crime, they gave his coordinates to the American planes that the house contained ISIS cells, so the coalition aircraft destroyed the house in Karbet Al Jamous (Tal Hamis) village in Al Hassaka.” Haskaka News reported a similar story that ” the child “Osama Adnan Al-Hamid” was inside the house, and when he saw them, he fled outside the house, so [the Kurdish forces] shot him, killing him instantly.”

Jisr’s correspondent in Hasaka countryside reported that “two people were killed as a result of the attack, in addition to the death of a child who was close to the scene, after he was hit by a stray bullet”.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “the security operation targeted a house after the troops cordoned it off and calls the people inside the house to surrender, but the suspects resisted, as exchange of fire erupted between the two sides. Meanwhile, International Coalitions fighter jets intervened and bombarded the house, which caused the death of three suspects believed to be ISIS members who were inside the house.” Baladi News also quoted “sites close to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that the latter had raided a house containing three members of the “ISIS” organization.”

Tweets from @OIRSpox, the US Coalition spokesman, stated that “Today the Syrian Democratic Forces conducted a raid in the vicinity of Hasakah, Syria which resulted in the death of one Daesh terrorist. Coalition forces conducted two airstrikes on the building in support of our partner forces in contact and to ensure the terrorist threat was eliminated. The Coalition has the inherent right to defend our partner forces. No civilians were killed as a result of #SDF operations or  airstrikes. #Syria #Hasaka”

A day later, the @OIRSpox released a revised statement: ” Update: The SDF spokesman has provided an update to #SDF raid on a Daesh hideout on July 21, 2021. SDF reports that 2 Daesh gang members were KIA & 2 were arrested. The SDF requested air support after finding & removing a wounded child from the Daesh hideout. Believing that Daesh gang members were still hiding out in the house; an air strike was conducted. The child subsequently died from his wounds despite @Coalition medical efforts to save his life. The SDF is investigating the death of the child who was being held captive by Daesh during the attack. See below for more information or contact @Farhad_Shami SDF spokesman.”

However, the SDF statement recounts the events as “In order to support, coalition aircraft targeted the cell’s sites with two missiles eliminating two mercenaries while two other members were arrested. By searching the house, our special units discovered the body of a murdered child.” indicating that the child was killed in the strike.

Watan Radio’s correspondent indicated that “the SDF moved the bodies to an unknown location, without revealing the identity of their owners, while the US helicopters hovered for more than half an hour at the site of the operation after it ended.” Syria TV sources added that “a member of the “SDF” was injured during the clashes that took place, after which he was transferred to the mobile medical center of the SDF, and then he was transferred to Al-Hasakah Military Hospital.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Image of alleged US coalition strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Arab News Agency)
  • #Khabour #Al-Hasakah Three people, including a child, were killed as international coalition aircraft targeted a house in the village of Khirbet al-Jamous in the Hasaka countryside on the pretext of the presence of ISIS cells inside it
  • Damage caused by alleged US coalition strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by RT Arabic)
  • Damage caused by alleged US coalition strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by RT Arabic)
  • Image of Osama Adnan Al-Hamid, who was killed in an alleged US Coalition-SDF raid on Karbet Al Jamous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by @modar28)
  • Image of the damage caused by Coalition and SDF strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by SDF)

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)

After a close monitoring and detecting process, the (SDF) counter-terrorism units dismantled, with a joint security operation on Wednesday, a dangerous terrorist cell affiliated with Daesh in Khirbet al-Jamous village, the eastern countryside of al-Hasakah.
The operation was supported by the coalition ISR and targeted a house that was used by the terrorists to hide. Among them are those responsible for committing assassinations against civilians and the security and military forces.
During the raid, one of our fighters was martyred due to clashes with the terrorists who opened fire on our forces in an attempt to escape. In order to support, coalition aircraft targeted the cell’s sites with two missiles eliminating two mercenaries while two other members were arrested.
By searching the house, our special units discovered the body of a murdered child, however; our forces will open an investigation into the detained mercenaries to find out why the child was there and the circumstances that led to his death.

Media
from belligerent (1) [ collapse]

  • Image of the damage caused by Coalition and SDF strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by SDF)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

"Today the Syrian Democratic Forces conducted a raid in the vicinity of Hasakah, Syria which resulted in the death of one Daesh terrorist. Coalition forces conducted two airstrikes on the building in support of our partner forces in contact and to ensure the terrorist threat was eliminated. The Coalition has the inherent right to defend our partner forces. No civilians were killed as a result of #SDF operations or  airstrikes. #Syria #Hasaka"

A day later, the @OIRSpox released a revised statement: " Update: The SDF spokesman has provided an update to #SDF raid on a Daesh hideout on July 21, 2021. SDF reports that 2 Daesh gang members were KIA & 2 were arrested. The SDF requested air support after finding & removing a wounded child from the Daesh hideout. Believing that Daesh gang members were still hiding out in the house; an air strike was conducted. The child subsequently died from his wounds despite @Coalition medical efforts to save his life. The SDF is investigating the death of the child who was being held captive by Daesh during the attack. See below for more information or contact @Farhad_Shami SDF spokesman."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC427

Incident date

July 18, 2021

Location

مصرف الوحدة في منطقة الليثي, Vicinity of Al Wahda Bank, Al Laithi neighbourhood, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.088701, 20.134394 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

The actor Haythem al-Debrash was killed in Benghazi and his brother Muftah was among five other civilians injured by an RPG round, fired by a militiaman said to have been celebrating the wedding nearby of a comrade.

Footage published by local media and dated July 18th showed a militiaman firing an RPG into the air alongside celebratory small arms fire. According to multiple reports, the RPG round then landed outside the al Wahda Bank on al Nahr Road, in al Laithi neighbourhood, killing Mr Debrash.

Benghazi 24 named a second casualty as Muftah al-Darbash, brother of the deceased, who it said had a limb amputated following the event. The Libya Observer reported five people injured in the event.

Libya Witness later reported that two unidentified men were arrested in connection with the incident, while 218 TV News said the public prosecutor’s office had opened a case, noting: “The perpetrator of the crime was arrested, and the Public Prosecution Office began interrogating him and eventually up accusing him of murder. It ordered his pretrial detention pending the case, while investigations into the incident are still ongoing in other aspects, which are being followed up by the Office of the Public Prosecutor.”

The incident occured during the day.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Haythem al-Debrash Adult male killed
  • Muftah al-Debrash Adult male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (17) [ collapse]

  • 'The death of the actor Haitham Al-Darbash after a shell fell on Al-Wahda Bank in Benghazi.'
  • The actor Haitham Al-Darbash, killed on July 18th in a random militia act (via Benghazi 24)
  • 'A continuation of the chaos and the rule of the militias... dead and wounded as a result of the fall of an RPG shell on a bank queue in the city of #Benghazi.'
  • Haythem Debrash, killed by an RPG round in Benghazi on July 18th 2021 (via Libya Observer)
  • Haitham al-Derbash (via Downtown Benghazi)
  • Images from the scene of a random RPG strike in Benghazi which killed one civilian and injured five (via Only Bengazi)
  • Images from the scene of a random RPG strike in Benghazi which killed one civilian and injured five (via Only Bengazi)
  • Images from the scene of a random RPG strike in Benghazi which killed one civilian and injured five (via Only Bengazi)
  • Images from the scene of a random RPG strike in Benghazi which killed one civilian and injured five (via Only Bengazi)
  • 'Today, Sunday, July 18, we monitored the killing of the artist Haitham Derbash and the injury of five others as a result of a shell falling in the Al-Laithi neighborhood of Benghazi. We call on the authorities to open an investigation into the incident and to hold the perpetrators accountable. We also call on the Ministry of the Interior to work to limit the phenomenon of the proliferation of weapons and prevent their use within cities.'
  • 'The artist, Haitham Darbash, died as a result of injuries he sustained as a result of a bombardment near Al Wahda Bank in the Laithi area, in the city of #Benghazi, while a local source told "Bawabat Al-Wasat" on Sunday that "the artist Haitham Derbash transferred his body to the hospital," noting that the artist's brother was wounded and taken to 1200 Hospital in Benghazi.'
  • Haitham al Derbash (via @alwasatnewsly)
  • Haitham Derbash (via 218 TV News)
  • Civilian Muftah Derbash, injured in a random RPG event in Benghazi on July 18th 2021 (via Bengazi 24)

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Al Wahda bank (مصرف الوحدة) in the Al Laithi neighbourhood (منطقة الليثي) of Benghazi (بنغازي). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 32.088701, 20.134394.

  • Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Al Wahda bank (مصرف الوحدة) in the Al Laithi neighbourhood (منطقة الليثي) of Benghazi (بنغازي). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources we have narrowed down the location to exact coordinates.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged audio-visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    February Channel

  • Tagged audio-visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    Al Tanasuh Channel

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1961

Incident date

July 16, 2021

Location

ذيبان, Thiban, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

A man and his son were reportedly killed in a raid in Deir Ezzor’s Thiban town carried out by Syrian Democratic Forces with support of the US-led coalition at dawn on July 16, 2021.

The dead were identified as Miteb Sherida Al-Ghadir and his son Ahmed.

@Sada_AlSharqieh said they had been grazing their sheep at the time of the incident and “had no links with the terrorist organization ISIS or any other party”. NPA Syria meanwhile reported that two members of Islamic State had been killed, quoting a military source in the Syrian Democratic Forces. However, the ISIS members they were referring to were not named.

The Syrian Democratic Forces shot the two men dead, according to Jesr Press, when “a number of people fled for fear of arbitrary arrests” and “the patrol members opened fire directly on these people”. NPA Syria reported that a military source told them that the forces, “with the support of the International Coalition, carried out a landing operation on the Al-Latwa neighborhood in the town of Thiban, where clashes took place with ISIS members.”

Eyewitnesses told Furat SY that a “force consisting of several cars raided civilian homes, without warning, accompanied by indiscriminate shooting between the houses with the aim of terrorizing the ‘wanted’”. The two men were shot in front of their house, according to its reporting. “This incident sparked a wave of panic among the civilians and generated a state of anger and frustration among the relatives of the victims, forcing the SDF to withdraw from the town,” it added.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of Mutaib Sherida Al-Ghadeer, who was killed in a raid in the town of Thiban on July 16, 2021. (Image posted by @YusufAd76532779)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of Ahmed Sherida Al-Ghadeer, who was killed in a raid in the town of Thiban on July 16, 2021. (Image posted by @YusufAd76532779)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1960

Incident date

July 15, 2021

Location

القائم, Al Qa’em, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

A civilian was reportedly shot dead during a raid on the outskirts of Al-Zar village carried out by the US-led Coalition alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces, according to multiple sources, at dawn on July 15, 2021. A single source – Furat News – also reported that a girl was injured in the incident.

The dead civilian was identified by multiple sources as Riad Ali Al-Khuzam. Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that he was shot by personnel from the Syrian Democratic Forces during the raid. Al-Khuzam was allegedly from the village of Al-Maray’iyah but lived in Al-Busaira while working on the oil fields. Euphrates Post reported he was a displaced person.

Sputnik reported that the operation “resulted in the killing of civilians and the kidnapping of dozens of others” but did not provide any other details of how many or who civilians were involved.

According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Amjad Al-Sari from the Ain Al-Furat satellite television network said the raid involved “26 military vehicles, 5 helicopters, a number of drones and laser-correction aircraft” which arrived in the village at around 2am.

Eye of Euphrates gave the following account from a civil source: “The international coalition carried out an airdrop operation on a house in the village of Al-Zar, east of Deir Ezzor, in which four military helicopters and two drones participated.” It added, “The targeted person resisted the international coalition forces and fled within the agricultural lands, after which the planes bombed the area with several missiles, which led to his arrest and detention, and the injury of a girl with several shrapnel.”

Deir Ezzor 24 said the operation targeted a house near the “Abu Saad” mosque, arresting a man named Saleh Abu Sumaya and his wife. It reported that Abu Samaya had been arming Islamic State and organising assassinations for the group.
It continued, “During the operation, clashes took place between the SDF and persons from Azzir village for about half an hour as they refused to surrender, but helicopters targeted their place with a guided missile and sound bombs forcing them to surrender.”

Euphrates News added that two houses were targeted in the raid, “the house of Khader Rajab Al-Sabti near the Abu Saad Mosque and another house belonging to a member of the “Al-Munkar” family, inhabited by displaced people from the village of Al-Hari in the city of Al-Bukamal.” In addition to arresting “Saleh Abu Sumaya and his wife”, six others were arrested on charges of belonging to ISIS.

The incident occured at 3:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • 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 attackers
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Image of Riad Ali Al-Khuzam, from the village of Al-Maray’iyah, who was killed in a raid near the Al Qa’em Syrian-Iraqi border on July 15, 2021. (Image posted by Euphrates Post)
  • Image of Riad Ali Al-Khuzam, from the village of Al-Maray’iyah, who was killed in a raid near the Al Qa’em Syrian-Iraqi border on July 15, 2021. (Image posted by Euphrates Post)

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • 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 attackers
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (15) [ collapse]

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

Lib2011-218

Incident date

December 16, 2011

Location

طرابلس‎, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.886602, 13.190912 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

One civilian was killed and three others were injured in Tripoli on December 16, 2011 when their car was ambushed and attacked by nine people armed with Kalashnikov rifles. According to the UN Report Source Page 82, a survivor of the attack said that he was in a car with four friends when their car was blocked by a pick-up truck, a 4×4 vehicle, and a car and the assailants tried to steal their car but when they refused, they opened fire, killing one passenger and injuring two other passengers and the driver.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.886602, 13.190912. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1953

Incident date

November 7, 2020

Location

غريبة الشرقية, Ghariba al-Sharqiya, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.622001, 40.770607 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

One person was reported killed in an alleged US-led Coalition and QSD/SDF joint security operation/landing in Ghariba al-Sharqiya in Deir Ezzor, Syria on November 7th, 2020.

Some of the local sources which reported the incident said the person killed was an internally displaced person (IDP), and others described him as an ISIS member.

For example, a source told Euphrates Post that “a person was found killed by several bullets near the Khabur River after the SDF withdrew from the village after conducting of the operation. The sources said the person is called Abu Fatima, a displaced from the city of Albu Kamal, east of Deir Ezzor, who has been living with his family in the aforementioned town for four years.”

Euphrates Post later followed up, saying that the man, Mohia Abdullah Al-Dibs, aka Abu Fatima, “is one of ISIS security people and an assistant of Saddam Al-Jamal in what was called the Islamic State.”

The Khabour Facebook page instead identified the slain man as an IDP.

In a civilian casualty assessment released April 2021, the US-led Coalition declared this event to be ‘non credible’, noting: “Nov. 7, 2020, in Ghariba al-Sharqiya, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.”

However this did not explain several local reports that SDF forces (and possibly Coalition special forces) had been dropped into the village by Coalition helicopters.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Unknown, Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One person was killed in a joint SDF/US led coalition security operation in Ghariba al-Sharqiya in Deir Ezzor on November 7th, 2020. (via EuphratesPost0.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the banks of the River Khabour (نهر الخابور), located west of the village of Ghariba Al Sharqiya ( غريبة الشرقية). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Ghariba Al Sharqiya are: 35.622001, 40.770607.

  • Reports of the incident mention the banks of the River Khabour (نهر الخابور), here marked in red, located west of the village of Ghariba Al Sharqiya ( غريبة الشرقية).

    Imagery:
    Google Image

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    in Ghariba al-Sharqiya, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU603434
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

Unknown
  • Apr 16, 2021
  • Nov. 7, 2020, in Ghariba al-Sharqiya, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3291/CS1953 37SFU603434

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Unknown, Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS455

Incident date

November 7, 2020

Location

العليا, Al Alia, Hassakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.596235, 40.107608 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

A woman was reportedly killed by Turkish soldiers stationed in a military point near Al Alia, Hasaka governorate, on November 7th, 2020, according to Step News Agency.

Step News Agency reported that on “Saturday morning, a woman was killed by the Turkish army stationed in a point located in the vicinity of Al Alia silos north of Hasaka.”

According to the Step correspondent, “a woman in her forties went to her relatives in the areas controlled by the “Qasd militia” in order to help her visit her family in the city of Ras Al Ain, north of Hasaka.”

The woman’s relatives reportedly drove her to the M4 road north of Hasaka in a Pickab Hilux vehicle. The woman was then dropped off on the M4 road near the High Silos. The Turkish forces monitored the vehicle through thermal cameras.

A source told Step News Agency that “the woman went to the Turkish point in the vicinity of Al Alia silos, north of Hasaka, where she stopped to drink water and the Turkish army immediately shot her and wounded her in the neck, which led to her killing.”

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the Al Alia (العالية) grain silos, for which the generic coordinates are: 36.596235, 40.107608. 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
    Single source claim
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]