Turkish Military in Iraq & Syria

An internally displaced Kurdish family in northern Iraq, 2016 (Maranie R. Staab)

Belligerent
Turkish military
Country
Iraq
Syria
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Contested
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

TI038

Incident date

June 17, 2020

Location

Bradost, Erbil, Iraq

Geolocation

36.735469, 44.387908 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

One civilian was allegedly killed and others injured by a Turkish airstrike in the Bradost mountains.

Kurdistan24 said: “A shepherd who grazed his animals in the Bradost region died in the bombardment of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) warplanes against PKK camps yesterday afternoon.

Speaking to K24, Sidekan District Manager İhsan Çelebi, of Erbil, said that at 11:00 am yesterday, a shepherd died in the Bradost area during the Turkish air plane’s air strike against the PKK.

It was stated that the shepherd named Ebas Mexdid Nimet was from Herir town in Şeqlawe district and she was grazing her sheep in the region.”

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan tweeted: “At least one civilian has been killed and a number of others injured in the Turkish Airforce bombardment of Bradost mountain at 10.40 pm, 17th June, a CPT partner has just reported. He is from a nomadic family who are in the Barda Spian highlands to graze their animals.”

Nupel initially also reported that Mexdid was a shepherd but later updated the story saying he was a peshmerga of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

The incident occured between 10:40 am and 11:00 am local time.

  • Ebas Mexedid 37 years old male Shepherd or peshmerga killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Ebas Mexdid, allegedly killed by a Turkish airstrike on Bradost on June 17th, 2020 (via Nupel)
  • Aftermath of Turkish strike on Bradost on Juney 17th, 2020 (via Peyama Kurd)

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI047

Incident date

August 14, 2020

Location

أرادن‎, Araden, Dohuk, Iraq

Geolocation

37.10894, 43.31806 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Up to three people were killed and another person was injured in alleged Turkish airstrikes on a vehicle in the village of Ardana, Dohuk governorate, on August 14th, 2020. It remains unclear whether the victims were civilians.

Rudaw reported: “The director of Bamerni district, Hamid Zubeir, told Rudaw Media Network that Turkish planes targeted a Hyundai Tucson car inside the village at 11 AM this Friday, in which three people were travelling. He added that the bombing resulted in the killing of two of them and the third was seriously wounded, and their identities are not known, indicating that the security authorities have begun investigating the incident.”

The PUK Media correspondent in Dohuk also reported that “the bombing resulted in the death of two people travelling on the vehicle, and another person was severely wounded.”

@Dersi4m, however, wrote that three people inside the vehicle were killed and another one was injured.

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The incident occured at approximately 11:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–1

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of alleged Turkish airstrikes on the village of Ardana, Dohuk governorate, on August 14th, 2020 (via @Dersi4m).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Araden (أرادن‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 37.10894, 43.31806. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–1

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI049

Incident date

August 25, 2020

Location

Bahrava, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.419798, 41.545744 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were reported killed in Sinjar, Iraq when Turkish drones allegedly struck two vehicles in the evening of August 25th, 2020. The exact location was identified by local sources as Bhrava, Khansur located in the northern Nineveh province.

Iraqi Security Media reported that Turkish drones targeted a double-wheeled pickup truck in the village of Bhrava in Khansur complex in north of Sinjar, and that two civilians were killed while the driver managed to flee.

Head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) press office in Nineveh Ghayas Surchi said that the victims weren’t affiliated with Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS).

However, Khudeda Chuke, mayor of Sinune town, was reported by Rudaw as saying that ‘a vehicle belonging to the Shingal Protection Units (YBS), a Yezidi armed group affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was hit in the vicinity of Bahraviyan village, seven kilometres west of the town of Khanasor. Thankfully, there were no casualties in the bombing,” Chuke said, adding the airstrike struck the vehicle at a YBS base.

It was also reported that another site was struck by Turkish drones in the village of Bara, but there is no information yet about civilian casualties there.

The incident occured at approximately 7:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Bahrava, for which the generic coordinates are: 36.419798, 41.545744. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI050

Incident date

August 30, 2020

Location

زاب, Zab area, Duhok, Iraq

Geolocation

37.255337, 43.569031 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

A woman was killed in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Zab area, on August 30th, 2020. While some sources reported that the victim, Hiam Noah Haji, was a political leader of the Kurdish Labour Party, other sources wrote she was the leader of a PKK militia.

Khabour reported that “Kurdistan Labour Party leader Hiam Noah Haji from the village of Pestasos in Maliki countryside was killed due to a Turkish airstrike in Zab area in northern Iraq.”

@VOSyria_ and @suriye_u_a_dr, however, reported that Haji was the leader of a PKK militia.

All sources blamed Turkey for the airstrike.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Hiam Noah Haji Adult female leader with the Kurdistan Labour Party killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 women)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Translation: “An air strike by Turkish warplanes on the Zab region in northern Iraq kills Hiyam Noah Hajji, the leader of the PKK militia, from the village of Pestasos in the countryside of Hasaka” (via @VOSyria_).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Zab (زاب) region, in northern Iraq (العراق). Research shows the existence of a Great Zab River (نهر الزاب العظيم) that flows through Turkey, and the districts of Duhok (دهۆک) and Nineveh (نينوى). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the northernmost post of the river within the boundaries of Iraq are: 37.255337, 43.569031.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 women)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1739a TS282a

Incident date

March 18, 2018

Location

تل حميس, Tal Hamees, South of al Qamishli, Al Hassaka, Syria

Geolocation

36.754529, 41.398836 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Multiple sources reported that Turkey carried out airstrikes on SDF positions in Tal Hamees, South of al Qamishli. However, other outlets also stated that this was not the case and that the US-led Coalition conducted strikes on homes which reportedly held family members of ISIS. However, no casualty estimates were given.

The Shaam News Network, citing activists, said that Turkish aircraft targeted the positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the area of Tal Hamis and at the Umm al-Russ station southeast of the city of Qamishli.

Syria al hadath added: Turkish planes targeted locations of the Kurdish units at the Umm al-Rouss station in the west of Tal Hamis, in the north-eastern countryside of Al-Hasakah.

Al Hasaka Youth Union Facebook page posted: Turkish aircraft target the positions of the militia PYD in the area Tel_hamis southeast of  Qamishli but later corrected themselves, stating that it was, in fact, a Coalition airstrike. The source also ambivalently reported that the strike targeted homes of Iraqi refugees with the claims that IS elements were present there.

Shaam Network also reported it as a Turkish airstrike while Baladi News blamed the Coalition. The source added that homes were targeted because there were claims that there were ISIS militants present.

Baladi said: Local sources from the region said that an aerial landing of the International Coalition, carried out by a helicopter accompanied by two other aircraft, on the area of agricultural projects, pointing out that it targeted two homes inhabited by two Iraqi families, who fled earlier to the region.

According to the sources, the operation was carried out at 2 am, followed by loudspeaker calls, saying that they were soldiers from the International Coalition, followed by intermittent firing.

Some sources said that a Turkish air strike targeted the area near the town of Tal Hamis – but these reports could not be verified.

According to Jisr TV, in the north-east of Hasaka, Coalition forces arrested a number of Iraqi refugees in the countryside of Tel Hamis, after the implementation of an aerial landing in the region.

Asia News provided some more detail, adding that three US helicopters carried out an aerial landing targeting a house between the villages of Kalou and al-Jaysi, 2 km south of Tal Hamis district in the south-eastern suburb of Qamishli.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • 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, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (12) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

There were no reported strikes conducted in Syria or Iraq on March 18, 2018.

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

Sunday 18 March – a Reaper killed two terrorists on a motorcycle in eastern Syria…On Sunday 18 March, a Reaper tracked a pair of terrorists on a motorcycle south-east of As Shadadi in eastern Syria. It became clear that they were operating as a mobile checkpoint in an attempt to exert control over the local area. The Reaper’s crew waited until the motorcycle was in open country, and despite its high speed, achieved a direct hit with a Hellfire which killed both of the Daesh extremists.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • 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, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS223

Incident date

February 23, 2018

Location

كوتانة، عفرين, Kotana, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.463611, 38.481944 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Two to four civilian boys were wounded in an alleged Turkish artillery shelling of Kotana, Syria, local media said.

According to the source IC Afrin Resistance, “the Turkish army shelled the village Kotana / Bilbile district. Two boys have been injured. Both were brought to a health center in Meydanke district.”

The boys – Ali Muhammad Hassan (16 years old) and Rashid Mustafa Rasho (15 years old) – were also named by a number of other sources.

However, these boys were also named as injured in event TS224 at Qastal Jando, Afrin

Afrin Now also reported “civilian casualties as a result of the Turkish bombardment of the village of Kutana in the area of Bulbul in the countryside of Afrin.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Elî Hesen Age unknown injured
  • Reşîd Age unknown injured
  • Ali Muhammad Hassan 16 years old male injured
  • Rashid Mustafa Rasho 15 years old male injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • An injured civilian gets treated in a medical facility following an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kotana, Afrin, 23rd February 2018. (via Kurdhr)
  • An injured civilian gets treated in a medical facility following an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kotana, Afrin, 23rd February 2018. (via Afrin Now)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An injured civilian gets treated in a medical facility following an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kotana, Afrin, 23rd February 2018. (via Kurdhr)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An injured civilian gets treated in a medical facility following an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kotana, Afrin, 23rd February 2018. (via Afrin Now)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An injured civilian gets treated in a medical facility following an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kotana, Afrin, 23rd February 2018. (via Hawar)

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS385 R3919A

Incident date

November 8, 2019

Location

سرمساخ, Sermisax, Al Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

37.138889, 41.977500 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

One civilian was reported killed and between five and ten others wounded allegedly when Turkish or Russian forces opened fire on protesters in Sermisax, in Qamishli – Syria on November 8th, 2019, according to local sources.

ANHA reported that Serkheboon Ali was killed, and the following civilians were among the injured: Bahoz Çelo,  Fehed Mûsa, Sûhêl Ebdellah, and Eyîşa Omer û Alaa Omer.

The Kurdish Red Crescent report on the casualties caused by the Turkish operation between October 9th and November 14th mentioned that Serkheboon Ali was killed as a Turkish Tank ran over his body.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • 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, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Serxwebûn Ali was killed in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • Civilians injured in Derik on 8 Nov 2019 after allegedly Turkish/Russian convoy opened fire on protesters (via ANHA)
  • KRC list of civilians killed and injured between 09 October and 14 November 2019.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Sermisax (سرمساخ), for which the coordinates are: 37.138889, 41.977500. 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

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • 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, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS224

Incident date

February 23, 2018

Location

قسطل جاندو, Qastal Jando, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.630278, 37.017222 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Local media named two boys as wounded in an alleged Turkish shelling of Qastal Jando, Syria. However, these two boys were also named as wounded in event 107 at Kotana.

There is, therefore, currently confusion over the location in which the boys were wounded.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Ali Muhammad Hassan 16 years old injured
  • Rashid Mustafa Rasho 15 years old injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Rashid Mustafa, injured in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Qastal Jando, 23rd February 2018. (via Rumaf)

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]