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
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CS327 TS005

Incident date

October 4, 2016

Location

الثلثانة, Taltanah, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.4457989, 37.3436021 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Up to 19 civilians including 3 children were killed – and as many as 41 people injured – when airstrikes hit the village of Al Thaltanah. Multiple reports initially assigned blame to the Coalition or Turkish forces. However, on December 1st 2016 the Coalition conceded it had killed one civilian in the event.

The Syrian Network and Syria News Desk reported that seven civilians died, and assigned responsibility to the Coalition. Several other reports also blamed the Coalition. The Syrian Observatory reported that “warplanes” targeted the village “inhabited by Kurdish civilians,” leaving 60 civilian casualties, including 13 confirmed civilian deaths.

In a separate report, the Observatory clarified the airstrikes were carried out “likely by Turkish warplanes,” and reported that the death toll rose to 19 civilians, including 3 children, noting “the number of the dead is likely to rise.” ISIL’s news arm Al A’maq News reported that 10 civilians died and several were injured in an “American raid.”

Reflecting the confusion, al Jazeera cited the Observatory and wrote, “it was unclear whether the strike was carried out by the US-led coalition fighting ISIL, or Turkey, which is leading an operation against the group in the area with support from Syrian rebel forces.”

In its December 1st report the Coalition stated: “During a strike targeting ISIL fighters it is assessed that one civilian was inadvertently killed as a result of the blast following the strike.” This was later amended on April 30th 2017: “Oct. 4, 2016, near Talatanah, Syria: Number 5 on the Dec. 1, 2016, CJTF-OIR press release reported that one civilian was killed during a strike on ISIS fighters. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured.”

Halab News identified 11 civilians, 9 of which it named, who it said were victims of “Coalition plane shelling.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Unidentified from Kleisharo family Age unknown from Kafr Sgheer village killed
  • Unidentified from Kleisharo family Age unknown killed

Family members (3)

  • Mohammad Yahiya al Ibo Age unknown male killed
  • Mahmoud Yahiya al Ibo Age unknown male killed
  • Mustapha Yahyia al Ibo Age unknown male killed

Family members (2)

  • Rashid Risho Age unknown male killed
  • Ahmad Rashid Risho Age unknown male killed

Family members (3)

  • Illo al Haj Illo Age unknown male killed
  • Yahiya Yusuf Al Hajj Illo Age unknown male killed
  • Ibrahim Yahyia al Hajj Illo Age unknown male killed
  • Mohammad al Qarmatli Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    11–19
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    41
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • "Satellite images show recent attack resulted from an airstrike, UN says, as battle for Aleppo sees more children killed", November 2016. (via Al-Jazeera)
  • Location of the village where the air strike took place, November 2016. (via Eastern Manbij countryside)

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position for incident
    Credible
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Stated reason for civilian harm
    Killed by strike blast
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Taltanah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 3rd-4th 2016, the Coalition reported no strikes in the near vicinity, though others for Aleppo governorate: ”Near Manbij, one strike destroyed an ISIL machine gun. Near Mar’a, four strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions and a command and control node.”

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 1, 2016
  • During a strike targeting ISIL fighters it is assessed that one civilian was inadvertently killed as a result of the blast following the strike.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    11–19
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    41
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS013

Incident date

November 22, 2016

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were reported killed and 17 more wounded in Turkish artillery shelling or takn fire on Al Bab.

The ISIS-affiliated media outlet Al A’amaq reported: “Two killed and 17 injured, including women and children following continuous Turkish artillery shelling on the neighbourhoods of al Bab north of Aleppo.“

Ajel_1 posted a carbon copy of the Al A’amaq text on Twitter, other than claiming that tanks were responsible for the casualties.

There are currently no other reports available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    17
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    17
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS041

Incident date

January 6, 2017

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Between six and ten civilians died and up to 30 more were wounded in alleged Turkish air and artillery strikes on Al Bab, Syria, local media reported.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least six civilians died and others were wounded – including children – in Turkish strikes on Al Bab – though it was unclear whether the report referred to a separate incident on January 7th.

An IS propaganda source, Al Raed La Ykazeb Ahlahu, put the death toll at eight with 13 more wounded in “Turkish air and artillery shelling on the neighbourhoods of al Bab, north east of Aleppo.”

A Tweet by Jason_Alassad also blamed Turkey, reporting that 10 civilians died and more than 30 were wounded in the attack, which occurred on “Friday morning [i.e. January 6th].”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6–10
  • Civilians reported injured
    13–30
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • 10 civilians were killed and more than 30 injured in the city of Bab east# Aleppo, as a result of the targeting of the flight # Turkish-occupation to the east of the city on Friday morning [i.e. 6th] (via @JasonAlassad)

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6–10
  • Civilians reported injured
    13–30
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS333 TS005a

Incident date

October 8, 2016

Location

دويبق, Dabiq, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.5643925, 37.2749805 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Twelve to 14 civilians, including up to seven children and five women, were killed in air raids on the village of Dabiq in Aleppo governorate, according to local reports. It was alleged that both the Coalition and Turkey were responsible.

The Syrian Network reported “at least 8 civilians died in International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on Al Dabiq village in Aleppo governorate.” Halab Today TV, citing activists, reported that 12 civilians had been killed and others injured “following the targeting by international coalition planes.”

Sky News Arabia also reported a figure of “at least” 10 civilians, which it said were from “the same family,” and it blamed the bombardment on the international coalition – as did Hara FM which added that 23 people were injured. It described raids in residential areas that destroyed five houses, which killed “eight civilians from one family, most of them children and two from a second family” and said eight people had been transferred to Al Bab due to injuries, most of them critical.

However, the Syrian Observatory assigned blame to Turkey and put the death toll at 9 members from the same family. It said the victims were “an elderly man, 3 citizen women and 5 children” and added that others were injured and the death toll was expected to rise as some were in a “critical situation.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Mahmoud Fara Age unknown male killed
  • Mahmoud Fara's wife Age unknown female killed

Family members (6)

  • Sheikho Imam's wife Age unknown female killed
  • Sheikho Imam's wife Age unknown female killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 1 Child killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 2 Child killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 3 Child killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 4 Child killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9–14
  • (4–7 children4–5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 7th-8th 2016 the Coalition reported strikes in Aleppo governorate: “Near Mar’a, one strike damaged an ISIL VBIED facility. Near Washiyah, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL-held building and a command and control node.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9–14
  • (4–7 children4–5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS068

Incident date

January 29, 2017

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.5179666 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Two children were reported killed in alleged Turkish artillery shelling on Al Bab.

The ISIS propaganda outlet Al A’amaq said that “two children were killed and nine others injured in Turkish artillery shelling on Al Bab northeast of Aleppo.”

There is currently no more information available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS087

Incident date

July 3, 2017

Location

Jelber village, [or Cilbir] Shirawa district, Afrin, Syria

Geolocation

36.484167, 36.968889 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Four civilians including an elderly woman were wounded in an alleged Turkish artillery attack on Jelber village, Afrin, according to local media.

Aksalser cited Kurdish Activists and reported that “a woman from the village of Gelber in the countryside of Afrin was injured by the Turkish artillery”

Azadiy Kurdistan said that “according to medical sources, four civilians were wounded in the village of Jalbar as a result of the shelling of the village by the Turkish army and the militias backed by them.”

According to Welat FM “the hospital administration confirmed that they also received four injured civilians from the village of Gelber in the area of ​​Shirawa as a result of targeting the village more than 20 shells.”

Rok Online said that those injured included an elderly woman.

Aylina Kilic provided some further details, reporting: ‘Sabah Isa (40) who was wounded in the shelling of Turkish-backed groups on the #Afrin village said: “Was it a mortar or shell, I don’t know”.
“She continued: ‘They fired it and I was in the balcony. I told the children to come inside. They were firing at the garden and surroundings’.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • 'Update: 4 civilians have been wounded in yesterday's shelling on villages in Canton #Afrin by Turkey-backed jihadist groups (ANHA) #Rojava'
  • A woman allegedly injured in the attack
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction caused by alleged Turkish strikes on either the village of Jelber of Kafronton, it was unclear which. (via Manbij.org)

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS417 TS025

Incident date

December 17, 2016

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Three unnamed civilian males were reported killed in a Turkish (or less likely Coalition) action at al Bab. The Coalition later denied responsibility.

According to Step News, “Turkish planes targeted al Bab, east of Aleppo, with three raids and there are news about casualties.” VDC later reported three unidentfied male civilian deaths – though said these were a result of actions by “International Coalition forces.”

In an emailed response to a report submitted by Airwars on this and other incidents in December 2016, Coalition officials said the event was presently assessed as ‘Not credible’ with “no Coalition strikes conducted in the geographical area of the reported civilian casualties.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Tweet reporting more than 50 alleged Turkish raids targeting al Bab over the last 12 hours. 17th December 2016. (via Muhammad Smiry)

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position for incident
    Non credible
    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
    near Al Bab, Syria
    Nearest population center

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For December 16th-18th 2016 the Coalition has publicly reported no strikes in the vicinity.

France
  • English
    /
    Original

For December 14th to 20th, France reports 10 strikes: 8 in Iraq – 7 of which were in Mosul – and 2 in Syria. They reported that 16 targets were destroyed.

#Chammal : 10 frappes contre Daech en Irak et en Syrie cette semaine, 16 objectifs détruits.

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 4, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area of the reported civilian casualties.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI001

Incident date

July 25, 2015

Location

العمادية, Amadiyah, Kurdistan, Iraq

Geolocation

37.092003, 43.486966 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were reportedly injured in alleged Turkish airstrikes on Amadiyah, Iraq.

Iraqhurr reported intensive bombing on PKK positions in the area and said that it “led to the wounding of three civilians.”

Sputnik News also reported Turkish airstrikes in the area but did not mention civilian harm.

No additional details are presently known regarding this event.

The event coincided with a major Turkish ground and air operation against both ISIS and Kurdish forces in Syria, which the US-led Coalition later confirmed were unilateral actions by its erstwhile partner.

Turkey’s Prime Minister told reporters: “Bomb attacks were aimed at the known military targets, including Qandil in northern Iraq [notable as a sanctuary for the PKK], and at the most important command centers and weapon depots of ISIL in Syria. There were no civilians in these areas, none of them have died.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]