Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Belligerent
Country
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

TI067 YI002

Incident date

August 30, 2021

Location

مخيم قاديا, Qadia Camp, Dohuk, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Two children were killed and three to four others, including two children and an elderly man, were injured – all from the same family – when an alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or Turkish IED exploded in Qadiya refugee camp.

According to the Kurdistan Democratic Communities Union (KCK), “in the late evening hours of August 30, 2021, an explosion occurred in the Qadiya refugee camp in the Zaxo region of the Kurdistan Region Iraq, killing two children and injuring numerous people”. The statement added that those living in the camp are Yazidi people who fled when ISIS occupied their towns in the Sinjar region.

Bas News quoted the Yazidi activist and former deputy in the Iraqi parliament, Vian Dakhil, as saying that the bombing “resulted in the death of two innocent children and the injury of 5 others, including three critical injuries”. Bas News added that among the two children killed was a one year old and a nine year old from the same family, in addition to an officer with Asayish, the Kurdish security and intelligence organization.

Abdulstar Mustafa, deputy head of Zakho emergency hospital, told Rudaw’s Yousif Musa that “At 10:15 we were told that an explosion had occurred at Qadia camp and there were injuries. Our teams got there immediately. We received five of the injured. Of those five injured, two of them died before they arrived.”

Rudaw News added that two children, aged four and nine, were injured, as well as a 63-year-old man. Hassan Ibrahim, the grandfather of the deceased, told Rudaw an explosive device was put under their caravan. He was injured in the explosion and taken to hospital for treatment.

The director of the Asayish district of Zakho, Shavan Sindi, told BasNews, “The explosion was caused by an explosive device that was planted in front of the cabin of an officer with the rank of major in the Kurdistan Region’s Asayish forces, Sheikh Hassan Ibrahim Samuqi, who was wounded in the explosion.” He added that the officer had been subject to death threats from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Al Taakhi Press reported that the explosion was caused by an explosive device planted in front of a cabin belonging to Hassan Samouqi. Al Taakhi also reported that two children were killed but put the toll of injuries at three, all from the same family, including Samouqi.

The mayor of Simel District, Khalil Mahmoud, added that the explosion caused damage to four cabins and a car.

The majority of sources that reported on the incident attributed the strikes to the PKK. However, the KCK blamed Turkey for the attack and refuted claims by the Kurdistan Democratic Party that the PKK was responsible, stating that “All witness accounts and the manner of the explosion indicate that this was an attack by the Turkish state”.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Victims of the bombing of Qadia Camp on August 30th arrive at the hospital for treatment. (Image posted by Rudaw News)

YPG forces Assessment:

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

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI066 YI001

Incident date

August 20, 2021

Location

قرية بانكا, Banka village, Dohuk, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Two Iraqi tourists were killed in alleged Turkish artillery shelling or an IED planted by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the village of Banka on August 20, 2021.

The security source told Shafaq News Agency, “Two tourists from Mosul entered, two days ago, the prohibited area in the village of Banka in Bativa district, affiliated to Zakho district, north of Dohuk,” noting that “a Turkish artillery shell fell near their car, leaving them dead.” The source added, “The two tourists are Ahmed Shukr, born in 1981, and Youssef Omar, born in 1995,” explaining that “the security forces in Zakho are trying to enter the prohibited area to evacuate the bodies of the tourists.”

The correspondent of Kurdistan 24, Islam Yousef added that the bodies of the victims were found in their car after the car was hit with a shell. The families of the victims had been searching for them for two days.

The director of Batova district told Rudaw Media Network that “the Turkish bombing of the areas where PKK fighters are located, in the village of Bandro, of Batufa district, led to the killing of Iraqi tourists.”

The majority of the sources identified the artillery shells that struck the car as originating from Turkish forces. However, a tweet from @BarzanSadiq alleges that “an IED blast planted by #PKK killed the two #Iraqi tourists” and included a video showing the blast.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Ahmed Shukr 40 years old killed
  • Youssef Omar 26 years old killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Image of Yousif Omar, who was killed in Turkish shelling of Banka village while visiting. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • Image of Ahmed Shukr Mahmoud, who was killed in Turkish shelling of Banka village while visiting. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • Image of Yousif Omar, who was killed in Turkish shelling of Banka village while visiting. (Image posted by Kurdistan revolution in Arabic)
  • Image of the vehicle where Ahmed Shukr Mahmoud and Yousif Omar were killed in Turkish shelling while visiting Banka village on August 20, 2021. (Image posted by Basnews)
  • Funeral for Yousif Omar, who was killed in Turkish shelling of Banka village while visiting. (Image posted by Naynawa Alghad)

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
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS107

Incident date

July 15, 2021

Location

عفرين, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between one and two civilians, including a child, were killed and between eight and 12 others, including three women and two children, were injured in alleged YPG or regime missile and artillery strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021.

According to Syrian Civil Defense, two civilians were killed, including a child and a man, and 12 civilians were injured, including three women and two children, “as a preliminary outcome”. The Civil Defense teams “rescued the injured To the hospitals, the bodies of the dead were recovered to be handed over to their families”.

Media activist Rohat Muhammad told BasNews that “two people were killed, including a child, and 8 others were wounded when 6 missiles fell on Al-Zabadiyah neighborhood in the city of Afrin, the source of which is the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahra, which are under the control of the regime’s Shiite militias (Popular Defense) and Kurdish units.” He added that “a missile fell on the electricity tank, which caused the entire city to be cut off.”

Zaman Al Wasl reported that “the neighborhoods of “Al-Mahmoudiya” and “Al-Zaydiyah” in the center of “Afrin” were bombarded in the strikes. Afrin Media Center told 7al News that “the bombing was carried out in two waves, the first batch of missiles fell on the “Al-Zaydiyah neighborhood” and the street of Jindires Road, killing two people and wounding 11 others, then the shelling was renewed on the arc of the city and the village of “Jomke”.

@ShahbaPress and @mohmad_rasheed both identified one person as being killed in the strikes.

A post from Mustafa Sheikhou named some of the victims of the strikes that were injured: Masoud Rashid Hussein – 40 years old – Afrin; Mustafa Juma Samer Zainab – Afrin – 9 years old; Muhammad Ali Wamuna Wamouna, 60 years old, from Afrin; Salwa Haider Wamouna, 30 years old, from Afrin; Yassin Omar Khaled Intisar, 30 years old, Hama; Sally Sheikh Naasan, 18 years old, from Afrin; Emad Othman Mustafa, 40 years old, from Afrin; Muhammad Yusuf Taha – 35 years old – Idlib; Ziad Al-Omar Hussein, 35 years old, Idlib. At least one of the children injured, whose name was not identified, was in intensive care.

Afrin Media Center identified Kurdish civilian Radwan Jamil Hamid, from the village of Suya, as being a “victim” of the strike but does not specify whether he was killed or injured.

Shaam News reported that “activists stated that the bombing caused at least 15 wounded, including women and children, who were transferred to Afrin hospitals, including serious cases” and that “residential neighborhoods” were struck in the shelling.

Sources were conflicted as to who was responsible for the strikes but the majority of sources attributed the strikes to the SDF/YPG. The Syrian Civil Defense identified the shells as “originating from the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime forces north of Aleppo” but did not assign blame. However, @ShahbaPress attributed the missiles to “the YPG militia” and @mohmad_rasheed tweeted about the casualties from “the bombing of SDF with vacuum missiles”. Anadolu Agency referred to both “the terrorist YPG/PKK organization” and “ISIS elements stationed in the city of Tal Rifaat” as carrying out the strikes while 7al News identified “government forces and the Iranian militia loyal to them” as responsible.

Rocket launchers and artillery shelling was reportedly used against Afrin according to various sources.

The incident occured in the evening.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Masoud Rashid Hussein 40 years old injured
  • Mustafa Juma Samer and Zainab 9 years old injured
  • Yassin Omar Khaled Intisar 30 years old injured
  • Sally Sheikh Naasan 18 years old injured
  • Emad Othman Mustafa 40 years old injured
  • Muhammad Yusuf Taha 35 years old injured
  • Ziad Al-Omar Hussein 35 years old injured
  • Radwan Jamil Hamid Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (16) [ collapse]

  • Civil Defense team members search through the rubble for casualties following strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • Civil Defense team members search through the rubble for casualties following strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • Civil Defense team members search through the rubble for casualties following strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • Civil Defense team members search through the rubble for casualties following strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • Statistics of the victims of the bombing of the city of #Afrin in the northern countryside of #Aleppo, Thursday, July 15th: death of 2, one of them a child, and 12 injured, including 2 children and 3 women. (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of an older man injured in strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by @khalidaboalmjed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of a young man injured in strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by @khalidaboalmjed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of a young child injured in strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by @khalidaboalmjed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of a young child injured in strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by @khalidaboalmjed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of a young man injured in strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by @mohmad_rasheed)
    Damage to a building caused by strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by BasNews)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of the young child killed in strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by @Yusuf1975hamoud)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims of the strikes on Afrin on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by Shaam News)
  • Ambulances arrive at the scene of strikes on Afrin to rescue injured civilians on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by BasNews)
  • Ambulances arrive at the scene of strikes on Afrin to rescue injured civilians on July 15, 2021. (Images posted by Afrin Media Center)
  • "Among the victims of the missile strikes on the city of Afrin yesterday evening, Thursday 15.07.2021, was the Kurdish civilian, Radwan Jamil Hamid, from the village of Suya." (Image posted by Afrin Media Center)

YPG forces Assessment:

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

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS104

Incident date

May 2, 2021

Location

عفرين, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian, a child, was killed and two others, including a woman, were injured in alleged Kurdish or regime strikes on Afrim in the northern countryside of Aleppo on May 2, 2021.

The Syrian Civil Defense reported “the killing of the child “Alia Rahim, 5 years old, and the wounding of a woman and a man, as a result of missile strikes from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo.” Various other sources gave the slain child’s age as three years old.

SCD also added that the child’s family had been displaced “from the southern countryside of Aleppo” and Shaam specified that her family “lives in a tent after she was displaced… from the village of Al-Batrana.” The Syrian Network for Human Rights added that the man and woman injured were the child’s parents and Baladi News reported that the parents were seriously injured and taken to the city hospital.

EdlibEmc1 also reported “a child was killed and others were injured due to artillery shelling by separatist Kurdish parties on the city of Afrin, north of Aleppo.”

The Turkish Ministry of Defense stated that the YPG had launched “8 cannons / rockets in the area where the fields are located in Afrin, Olive Branch, injured the mother, her child and a villager,” adding that the child could not be saved.

The Syrian Documentation Center reported that “more than 12 rockets” struck the neighborhood while 7al only identified six shells and located the strikes on the road to Jenderes. Radio Al Kul gave the specific location of the attacks as hitting “the Al-Jadida farm, south of Afrin.”

The majority of sources attributed the strikes to Kurdish forces. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “it is not known yet if regime forces or Kurdish forces fired these rockets.” They also added that the area hit is under the control of “Turkish forces and their proxy factions” and just a few days prior, Turkish forces had shelled “the Kurdish-controlled villages of Bainah and Sawaghnah in Shirawa district in Afrin countryside.” A tweet from @anasanas84 also blamed the attack on “the Al-Assad and Qasd gangs.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or 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 attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Caption translation: The killing of the child “Alia Rahim, 5 years old, and the wounding of a woman and a man, as a result of missile strikes from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo. The body of the child and secured the place. (Image posted Syrian Civil Defense)
  • Caption translation: A five-year-old girl, named as Aliaa Rahim, was killed and her parents were injured in shelling by Syrian Democratic Forces who used a missile launcher to bombard a residential area in the center of Afrin city in the northern suburbs of Aleppo governorate on May 2. (Image posted by Syrian Network for Human Rights)
  • Screengrab taken from a video posted by the Turkish ministry of Defense on Twitter about the alleged Kurdish shelling on Afrin on May 2, 2021.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Caption translation: A child was killed and a woman was injured as a result of artillery shelling by the Syrian Democratic Forces targeting the city of Afrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo. (Image posted by @zelal_abo_adnan)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Caption translation: The death of the three-year-old girl, Alia, and the injury of her mother as a result of artillery shelling by the SDF that targeted the city of Afrin, west of Aleppo, this morning, Sunday, May 2. (Image posted by @firas_alkhalifa)

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime 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
  • 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 attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (22) [ 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

YS097

Incident date

February 8, 2021

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

One child was killed and nine civilians injured in alleged YPG or Syrian regime artillery shelling on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate on February the 8th.

At the start, local sources reported that at least nine civilians, including at least four children and three women, were injured in alleged YPG or Syrian regime artillery strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021. Some of the victims remain in critical condition.

Howeber, on February 12th, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Macro Media Center and @mohamed1aldaher reported that child Taim Maatarmawi died on February 12th of injuries he sustained on February 8th.

According to the Syrian Civil Defence (@SyriaCivilDefe), “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were wounded, some of them in critical condition, today, Monday, February 8, by an unknown-source missile strike, on the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Our teams rescued the injured and worked to secure the place.”

According to a correspondent for Enab Baladi, the bombing took place around 6:30 PM and came from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). @zakaria19972 tweeted: “10 wounded, including four children and three women, as a result of the YPG militia targeting the city of Al Bab, northeast of Aleppo, with missiles.”

Shahed Agency wrote that eight civilians were injured as the results from strikes with five missiles by the Qasd Militia, stationed in the outskirts of the city. Shahed Agency’s correspondent said that “civil defence teams transported the injured from the targeted places to the hospital in the city, and also recovered a wounded child from under the rubble as a result of the collapse of the house wall due to the bombing.”

The Syrian Arab News Agency, affiliated to the Syrian regime, wrote that “violent clashes with heavy weapons broke out this evening between the Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries on the one hand and the “Qasd militia” on the other hand, causing the injury of at least 14 civilians, including 5 children and three women, and material losses to the homes, properties, and public properties of the people in the city of Al Bab and several villages in its vicinity.” It is unclear if the injury toll only includes civilian casualties in Al Bab.

Ahmad Ali Makra published the names of nine injured civilians, including four children and three women, on Facebook. @seerij80 posted a photo of an injured child on the ICU as the result of the strikes.

Shaam News Agency reported ten wounded, including a woman in a critical condition and four children, as the result of shelling on civilian residential areas. The missiles reportedly came from “the area of ​Al Sukkariyya and Al Urimah, which is considered a common area between the Assad regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said “A three-year-old child, named as Taim Obadah M’atramawi, from Ma’aret al Numan city in the southern suburbs of Idlib governorate, died on February 12th, 2021, due to wounds sustained on February 8th, 2021, when a Syrian regime missile launcher shelled a residential area in al Bab city in the eastern suburbs of the governorate. SNHR can confirm that the area attacked is a civilian area and is free of any military presence or equipment.”

@OtmanAlkneter reported nine injured, and said that the following areas had been targeted: “The side of the Great Mosque, beside Azraq Pharmacy” and “near El Kurdi Generator”. @IdlibPlus mentioned the use of rocket-propelled grenades.

While a few sources did not attribute blame for the strikes, most sources blamed the YPG for targeting the city of Al Bab. However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed the Syrian regime for this incident. The source said “Syrian regime forces used a missile launcher to shell al Bab city in the eastern suburbs of Aleppo governorate on February 8th, with the missiles that landed in residential areas and near the city’s al Kabir Mosque. As a result, ten civilians, including a child, were injured, while a number of residential buildings were partially destroyed and the mosque’s structure and furniture were partially damaged on February 8th.”

Also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights accused the Syrian regime, backed by Russian forces, of responsibility for the casualties and the incident. The source said that casualties took place as a result of “artillery shelling by the Manbij Military Council forces, which were carried out at Russian orders, on the town of Al-Bab, an area under the control of Turkish-backed factions in eastern Aleppo countryside.”

Shaam Network didn’t rule out a Syrian regime’s involvement in this incident when they said that missiles were fired from the area of ​​al-Sukkariyya and al-Urimah, considered a common area between the Assad regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The incident occured at approximately 6:30 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–14
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (38) [ collapse]

  • Medical staff helping an injured child after alleged YPG strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via Enad Baladi).
  • Translation: “10 wounded, including four children and three women, as a result of the YPG militia targeting the city of Al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo, with missiles” (via @zakaria19972).
  • An injured child receiving medical help after alleged YPG strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @zakaria19972).
  • Remnants of one of the missiles reportedly used in alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @zakaria19972).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @zakaria19972).
  • Translation: “The first moments of our teams' response to the missile strikes that targeted the city of Al-Bab, east of Aleppo, which injured 10 civilians. Our team inspected the bombing sites and works to remove the effects of the explosion from the scene” (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Translation: “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were injured, some of them in critical condition, as a result of bombing the city of Al-Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • An injured man after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • Translation: “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were wounded, some of them in critical condition, today, Monday, February 8, by an unknown-source missile strike, which was hit by the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Civilians at the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Remnants of artillery after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Rubble being cleared form the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Damage after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Translation: “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were wounded, some of them in critical condition, today, Monday, February 8, by an unknown-source missile strike, on the city of Al-Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Our teams rescued the injured and worked to secure the place” (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • A Syrian Civil Defence volunteer at the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, February 8th, 2021 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Damage after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Aftermath of missile strike on Al-Bab, Aleppo, Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • Remnants of missiles used in strikes on Al-Bab in Aleppo, Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • Translation: “Civilian casualties with missile strikes on the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Our correspondent Malik Abu Ubaida and the details” (via @HalabTodayTV).
  • Translation: “Nine injuries, most of them children, as a result of the missile strikes that targeted residential neighborhoods in the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @mohmad_rasheed).
  • Translation: “Part of the destruction caused by the missile strikes of the SDF on the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, which resulted in the injury of eight civilians, including children” (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Rescue workers at the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • An injured child after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • Remnants after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • An injured child receiving medical help after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • Translation: “Several explosions in residential neighborhoods in the city of Al Bab, east of Aleppo, were caused by unidentified rocket shells, and news of a number of civilian casualties” (via @MNoaymi).
  • Photo of alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @MNoaymi).
  • Translation: “Remnants of rockets and the resulting destruction in the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Remnants of the weapon used in alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Translation: “The city of Al Bab, east of Aleppo, was subjected to direct bombardment by the PKK militia on the gatherings of our civilians, causing injuries, and this is a picture of an injured child in intensive care” (via @seerij80).
  • An injured child in the ICU after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @seerij80).

YPG forces Assessment:

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

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–14
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS098

Incident date

February 8, 2021

Location

أم روثة - جرابلس, Um Raotha - Jarablus, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

A woman and a man were reported injured as a result of YPG artillery shelling on Um Raotha in Jarablus, Aleppo on February 8th, 2021.

The Syrian Civil Defense said that “a man and a woman were wounded, today, Monday, February 8th, as a result of artillery shelling of the Syrian Democratic Forces on civilian homes in Umm Rutha village in the countryside of the city of Jarablus, east of Aleppo.”

Enab Baladi, @FOXSYRlA, @syr_television and other reported the incident and blamed QSD/YPG for the incident.

No further information is available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

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
    YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of an alleged YPG artillery strike on Um Raotha in Jarablus, Aleppo, on Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • A SCD volunteer in the site of an alleged YPG artillery strike on Um Raotha in Jarablus, Aleppo, on Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • Location of an alleged YPG artillery strike on Um Raotha in Jarablus, Aleppo, on Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • A woman and a man were reportedly injured as a result of an alleged YPG artillery strike on Um Raotha in Jarablus, Aleppo, on Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • Translation: Civil Defense: A man and a woman were injured, as a result of artillery shelling of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on civilian homes in Umm Rutha village in the countryside of the city of Jarablus, east of Aleppo.

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG 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
    YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS096

Incident date

January 4, 2021

Location

قربة أم البراميل, Umm Al Baramil village, Raqqa, Syria

Airwars assessment

Two 13-year-old boys were reported killed in alleged SDF artillery strikes on Umm Al Baramil village, also known as Shikuru, east of Ain Issa, on January 4th, 2020, according to local sources. Other sources, however, stated the incident was a landmine or an unexploded ordnance explosion, which means that the strike itself could have taken place before January 4th. A 15-year-old boy was seriously injured in the incident.

@Ainissa_plus reported: “The two children Wathiq Al Ali Al Husaynu, 13, and Ibrahim Al Mahmoud Al Khalaf, 13, were killed and Saddam Al Ali Al Husaynu, 15, was seriously injured, as a result of the SDF firing a guided missile at Umm Al Baramil village, east of Ain Issa.”

Birjaf, among other sources, reported that “a landmine of remnants of war exploded in the vicinity of the village of Sakiru in the countryside of Raqqa, killing two children.” @SYRlANOW wrote that the SDF had been responsible for the remnants. Several sources reported that the boys were in a civilian car.

Hussein Ali Al Doua posted photos of the vehicle that was damaged in the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • 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
    YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • The damaged vehicle after alleged SDF artillery strikes or a landmine explosion on the road near the village of Umm Al Baramil, Ain Issa, on January 4th, 2020 (via Hussein Ali Al Doua).
  • Translation: ”An exclusive photo of the car targeted by the SDF in the village of Umm Al Baramil, east of Ain Issa, which led to the killing of two children and the injury of the third” (via @Ainissa_plus).
  • The damaged vehicle after alleged SDF artillery strikes or a landmine explosion on the road near the village of Umm Al Baramil, Ain Issa, on January 4th, 2020 (via @Ainissa_plus).

YPG forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • 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
    YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (15) [ collapse]