Turkish Military in Iraq & Syria

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

Belligerent
Turkish Military
Country
Syria
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

TS067

Incident date

January 28, 2017

Location

تل بطنان, Tal Btan, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.395556, 37.538889 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Around five civilians were reportedly killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes near Tal Btan, according to sources on the ground.

LCCSY wrote: “Eight dead in Aleppo, most of them killed by the Turkish jets during their escape from Alban to Tal Btan village.”

There is currently no more information available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS047 CS441

Incident date

January 12, 2017

Location

بزاعة , Beza’a city, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.3829071, 37.56666 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to nine civilians including two children from the same family died in an airstrike on Beza’a city, according to local media – though sources were conflicted as to whether this was the work of Turkey or the US-led Coalition.

Aleppo Media Center reported that “the child Hamdo al Bakir and an entire family made up of seven people” died following Turkish raids.

LCCSY instead said that civilians died as result of Turkish bombing on the city, as did Micro Syria. Sawa_sawanews  also blamed Turkey, putting the death toll at nine.

However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights attributed the event to the Coalition. It said that “at least seven civilians died in International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on Beza’a city in Aleppo governorate eastern suburbs, January 12, 2017, SNHR has yet to verify the news.” Al Amawi news also attrubited blame to the Coalition.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abd al Sattar Saleh Al Khodra al Bazi’i Adult male named by Al Bab al Hadath killed
  • Daughter of Abd al Sattar Saleh Al Khodra al Bazi’i Child female named by Al Bab al Hadath killed
  • Mohammad, son of Abd al Sattar Saleh Al Khodra al Bazi’i Adult male named by Al Bab al Hadath killed
  • Abd al Jawwad Saleh Al Khodra al Bazi’i Adult male named by Al Bab al HadathBrother of Abd al Sattar Saleh Al Khodra al Bazi’i killed
  • Hamdo al Bakir Child male named by Al Bab al Hadath killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 9
  • (2 children3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–6
  • 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 Military

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • "The death of Hamdou al-Bakir and a whole family of seven people in the town of Bazaa in the eastern Aleppo countryside following Turkish air strikes targeting the region on Thursday." (via AleppoAMC)
  • Abd al Jawwad Yassin, killed in an alleged Coalition or Turkish airstrike in Beza’a city, 12th January 2017. (via Al bab Al Hadath)
  • Mohammad the son of Abd al SAttar and a child, the daughter of Abd al Sattar, killed in an alleged Coalition or Turkish airstrike in Beza’a city, 12th January 2017. (via Al bab Al Hadath)
  • Abd al Sattar Yassin, killed in an alleged Coalition or Turkish airstrike in Beza’a city, 12th January 2017. (via Al bab Al Hadath)
CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 27, 2018
  • After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Fir Jan 12th-13th, the Coalition reported: "Near Manbij, two strikes damaged a vehicle and a mortar system."

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 9
  • (2 children3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–6
  • 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 Military

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS413 TS020

Incident date

December 12, 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

Airwars assessment

Twelve civilians were killed and up to 30 injured at al Bab in what local sources claimed was a ‘Coalition’ strike, but which may have been a result of Turkish-ISIS fighting.

Al A’maq, ISIS’s media wing, reported “12 dead and 30 injured, most of them women and children, following violent Turkish shelling with more than 150 missiles and rockets that fell on al Bab since this morning.” A video (since blocked) also showed a number of children being treated for serious injuries.

Ara News said that “Turkish forces shelled the city of al Bab and Tadef northeast of Aleppo, northern Syria, on Monday, and the shelling targeted civilian neighbourhoods.” The Syrian Observatory also blamed Turkish and Euphrates Shield forces.

However both Halab News and VDC blamed the US-led Coalition – which they may still have viewed Turkey as being an active member of.

Al Bab al Hadath said both Turkish and Coalition planes attacked the city, killing 12 including two families and injuring 20 civilians. In total it named twelve victims:

In an emailed response to a report submitted by Airwars on this and other incidents in December 2016, Coalition officials requested additional information concerning the alleged event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Mamdouh Noma Adult male was killed with two of his girls killed
  • Daughter of Mamdouh Noma Age unknown female killed
  • Second daughter of Mamdouh Noma Age unknown female killed

Family members (1)

  • Al Boushi family Age unknown 5 members were killed killed
  • Tarek Ahmad Zakkour al Alabi 15 years years old male killed
  • Omar Mohammad al Eido 16 years years old male killed
  • Mustapha Naqishbandi Age unknown male killed
  • Alaa Hajjar Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • (6 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    20–30
  • 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 Military

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (17) [ collapse]

  • Al Bab following reported Turkish or Coalition strikes on December 12th 2016. (via Bab al Hadath)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims following reported Turkish or Coalition strikes on Al Bab, December 12th 2016. (via Al Bab al Hadath)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims following reported Turkish or Coalition strikes on Al Bab, December 12th 2016. (via Al Bab al Hadath)
  • Al Bab following reported Turkish or Coalition strikes on December 12th 2016. (via Bab al Hadath)
  • Al Bab following reported Turkish or Coalition strikes on December 12th 2016. (via Bab al Hadath)
  • Al Bab following reported Turkish or Coalition strikes on December 12th 2016. (via Bab al Hadath)
  • Al Bab following reported Turkish or Coalition strikes on December 12th 2016. (via Bab al Hadath)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of child being treated in hospital following alleged Turkish and Coalition raids on al Bab, 12th December 2016. (via Khaled Shaban)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of a child victim in hospital following an alleged Turkish and Coalition raid on al Bab, 16th December 2016. )via Khaled Shaban)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of a child victims in hospital following an alleged Turkish and Coalition raid on al Bab, 16th December 2016. (via Khaled Shaban)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of a male civilian casualty killed following an alleged Turkish and Coalition raid on al Bab, 16th December 2016. (via Khaled Shaban)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Injured children being treated in hospital following alleged Turkish and Coalition raids on al Bab, 12th December 2016. (via Khaled Shaban)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of child being treated in hospital following alleged Turkish and Coalition raids on al Bab, 12th December 2016. (via Khaled Shaban)
  • Photo of child being transported to hospital following alleged Turkish and Coalition raids on al Bab, 12th December 2016. (via Khaled Shaban)
  • Injured children being treated in hospital following alleged Turkish and Coalition raids on al Bab, 12th December 2016. (via Khaled Shaban)
  • Damaged building in the aftermath of the alleged raid on Al Bab, 12th November 2016. (via Halab today)
  • Damaged building in the aftermath of the alleged raid on Al Bab, 12th November 2016. (via Al Bab al Hadath facebook)
CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Al Bab, Syria
    Nearest population center

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.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For December 11th-13th 2016 the Coalition publicly reported no strikes in the vicinity of al Bab.

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • (6 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    20–30
  • 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 Military

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS516

Incident date

June 5, 2022

Location

عين عيسى, Abu Naytulah, Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

36.4537, 38.72317 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least three men were injured in alleged Turkish shelling of the village of Abu Naytulah in Ain Issa on June 5, 2022.

Hawar News reported that three civilians were injured in Turkish shelling of the village of Abu Naytulah in Ain Issa. The source added that the injured were transferred to the Chalabiye district to receive treatment. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the injured civilians were treated at Jalabiyah hospital “while the village is still under intermittent ground shelling”.

Ain Issa Plus posted the names of the victims on Facebook: Abdulaziz Al-Youssef, Saleh Taha, Basil Al-Obaid.

A medical source from the hospital told North Press Agency that “the condition of the three people is stable after providing treatment and first aid being given to them”.

Hawar News added details that the village of of Abu Neitouneh “lies to the west of the Ain Issa district on the strategically important Aleppo-Hasaka highway known as the M4”.

A local source told Bissan FM that “the village was subjected to heavy bombardment by the Turkish forces and the opposition factions loyal to them”. All of the other sources attributed the strikes to Turkey and the Syrian National Army.

The incident occured in the evening.

  • Abdulaziz Al-Youssef Age unknown injured
  • Saleh Taha Age unknown injured
  • Basil Al-Obaid Age unknown injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Image of the three civilians that were injured when Turkey shelled the village of Abu Neitouneh on June 5, 2022. (Image posted by Hawar News)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Abu Naytulah (أبو نيتولة), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.4537, 38.72317. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS485

Incident date

January 22, 2022

Location

قرية الحدريات, Hadriat village, Raqqa, Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to five civilians were killed and up to four others were injured in alleged Turkish shelling of the village of Hadriat and other surrounding villages in the countryside of Ain Issa on January 22, 2022.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkish bombings of the village of Hadriat resulted in the death of five civilians and the wounding of four others. This was the most violent attack carried out by Turkish forces in the last 2 months.

Hawar News reported on the killing of two residents of the village of Jabal from Turkish attacks. Hawar News also reported that two civilians were injured in the bombing of the village of Al-Msherfa. Images posted along with this report show two men getting treatment for their wounds.

North Press Agency put the casualty toll at two civilians killed and three injured, providing the names of the injured as: 20-year-old Muhammad Mahmud, the 45-year-old Muhammad Saleh Mahmud, and the 40-year-old Abdulrahim Hamoud Saleh. The source added that Abdulrahim Saleh Muhammad succumbed to his injuries after arriving at Martyr Omar Alosh Hospital in Ain Issa town.

Ain Issa Plus provided details that Abdulrahim Saleh Muhammad was a child, 14 years old, and add the name Hassan Al-Mohammed to the list of injured, who is 22 years old.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently also reported that people were killed and wounded from artillery shelling launched by the Turkish army, adding that “the SDF militia Sabah set up mortars in the vicinity of the village, targeting positions of the National Army militia”.

The Syrian Democratic Forces Press Center identified two civilians as being killed and two others as being injured, and their spokesman @farhad_shami posted a video on Twitter alongside this information that shows a man with blood on his leg, indicating he may be one of the men that was injured.

In addition to the civilian casualties, Syrian Arab News Agency identified that the strikes resulted in damage to “some homes and public and private properties”.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the attack to Turkish forces, with Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firate (ANF) identifed “rockets, Grad guns, tanks and mortar shells” as being used by Turkey “since the early hours of the morning”.

The incident occured in the morning.

  • Muhammad Mahmud 20 years old injured
  • Muhammad Saleh Mahmud 45 years old injured
  • Abdulrahim Hamoud Saleh 40 years old male injured
  • Abdul Rahim Salih Muhammad 14 years old killed
  • Hassan Al-Mohammed 22 years old male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • One of the men injured in alleged Turkish strikes on the village of Al-Msherfa on January 22, 2022. (Image posted by Hawar News)
  • One of the men injured in alleged Turkish strikes on the village of Al-Msherfa on January 22, 2022. (Image posted by Hawar News)
  • Damage caused by alleged Turkish strikes on the village of Al-Msherfa on January 22, 2022. (Image posted by Syrian Arab News Agency)
  • Rescue crews and civilians at the site of alleged Turkish strikes on the villages in the Ain Issa countryside on January 22, 2022. (Image posted by North Press Agency)

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS072

Incident date

February 2, 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

Airwars assessment

One civilian was reportedly killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes shelling on Al Bab, Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported: “The Turkish forces and warplanes renewed their shelling on areas in Al Bab city and its vicinity, which killed a civilian and injured others during the past 24 hours.”

Al Jazeera quoted the ISIS news outlet Al A’amaq saying that Al Bab was hit by 170 Turkish shells but did not mention civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS091

Incident date

August 24, 2017

Location

ام حوش, Um Hawsh village, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.411111, 37.212778 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two men were wounded in an alleged Turkish shelling of the village of Umm Hawsh in Aleppo, local media reported.

According to SDF Press, “Ahmed Hussein Hamdoun, aged 20, and Mu’taz al-Hussein, aged 15, were wounded in various parts of their bodies by shrapnel from the shells that fell near them while they were traveling from Deir Jamal to Um Hawash village. They were transferred to Afrin Hospital in Afrin and are in a stable condition”.

Dlo_jawish also reported that two young men were injured in Turkish shelling.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS495

Incident date

February 28, 2022

Location

قرية التوخار, Al Tafkhar village, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.639318, 37.980547 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian was injured in alleged Turkish shelling of the village of Al Tafkhar on February 28, 2022.

Hawar News reported that a civilian was injured by Turkish shelling on the village of Al Tafkhar. The media center of the Manbij Military Council said that the Turkish forces struck at exactly 8:00 this morning the inhabited village of Al Tafkhar, located north of the city of Manbij, with 7 mortar shells, “which led to the injury of a civilian.”

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added that the shelling resulted in material damage to civilians’ property. A local source told North Press that “the bombing also targeted the house of Kafi Al-Jassem (35 years), a resident of the village, without mentioning additional information.”

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the strikes to Turkish forces and North Press Agency identified the shelling as coming from the Turkish base overlooking the village of Al-Tokhar Al-Kabeer and Al-Waqa’a, at the northwestern edge of the village.

The incident occured at 08:00:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention strikes on the village of Al Tafkhar (التوخار), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.639318, 37.980547. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (6) [ collapse]