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

TI071

Incident date

September 7–8, 2021

Location

قرية سناموك, Sinamoka village, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Up to two civilians were killed and up to two others were injured in alleged Turkish airstrikes on the village of Sinamoka on September 7, 2021.

According to Roj News, two civilians were injured in the Turkish bombing of the village of Sinamoka that involved three airstrikes. Baghdad concurred that two civilians were wounded.

Basnews initially reported that two civilians were injured but later stated that two civilians were killed in the strikes on Sinamoka. Mayor Nahro Abdullah told BasNews that the airstrikes occurred around 1:30am and that Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters were in the area.

In addition to the civilian casualties, the bombing resulted in damage to civilian property.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the airstrikes to Turkey.

The incident occured at approximately 1:30 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • 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 Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (6) [ collapse]

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
    2
  • 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 Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI070

Incident date

September 4, 2021

Location

قرية هرور, Hirrur, Dohuk, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Up to three civilians, including two women, were reported injured in alleged Turkish artillery shelling on Hirrur on September 4th 2021. There were some claims that chemical weapons featured in the attack.

A resident of the village of Hirrur told IQ News, “Turkish artillery bombed our village this evening, as a result of which a woman and her daughter were wounded, and they were taken to the hospital for treatment.” Various other news outlets quoted the same source and reported the same information.

ANF News reported that three civilians were injured when an artillery shell landed near their home and that the injured were transferred to Zakho Hospital.

ANF News later added that Turkish forces also used chemical weapons during the bombardment. Those affected by the chemicals “had shortness of breath, redness in their eyes and an irregular heartbeat.” According local sources reported on ANF News, Turkey has been using chemical weapons in the Werxelê area and a video posted by ANF shows chemical gas coming out of a tunnel following an attack.

According to Rudaw News, Turkish forces dropped six bombs and they landed nearly a kilometer from Abdullah Hassan’s house. Hassan, his wife Hadiya Mustafa, and their daughter Zhiman were hospitalized two hours after smoke from the bombs reached their house.

“A Turkish bomb brought this to me. Smoke came towards me and I said ‘go inside as this smoke stinks.’ I went into the house,” Mustafa, 66, told Rudaw. Adeeb Mousa, who lives in the same village, said that six bombs landed in the vicinity of the village and one of them “produced a black smoke” that spread to Hassan’s house. The others emitted a yellow smoke. Hassan was discharged from the hospital a day after the attack while his wife and daughter were discharged two days after the attack.

This was not the first time that Haasan and his family have been impacted by the conflict. They narrowly survived an alleged Turkish bombardment in late June when shrapnel hit the front of their house.

Dr. Rasul Mohammed, the doctor who provided them with first aid at the nearby Rozana health center told Rudaw that the family’s symptoms were that “They had breathing issues. Their eyes teared up and were painful. Two of them felt nauseous and dizzy. It was strange to me to see that a bombardment could cause these symptoms.” Amir Ali, head of Zakho health directorate’s media office, said that he was in touch with the specialists regarding the incident, but that “there is no equipment to know whether it was 100 percent a poisonous gas or something else.”

All of the sources attributed the attack to Turkey.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Abdullah Hassan 76 years old male injured
  • Hadiya Mustafa Adult female injured
  • Zhiman 28 years old female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Image of Hadiya Mustafa being treated at a hospital following an alleged chemical attack on the village of Hirrur on September 4, 2021. (Image posted by Rudaw News)

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
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI069

Incident date

September 2, 2021

Location

قرية باريي, Bari village, Mosul, Iraq

Airwars assessment

At least three people were injured in alleged Turkish strikes on Bari village on September 2, 2021.

Security sources told Shafaq News Agency that “Turkish aircraft bombed the headquarters of the Asayish Yazidkhan forces, west of Mount Sinjar” and that the targeted location was close to a site of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). However, another security source told Shafaq News agency that three civilians were seriously injured in the attack.

Alyaum TV quoted a local source as saying that Turkish warplanes bombed different areas in Sinjar district, injuring three people.

BasNews also reported that Turkish warplanes targeted a facility and vehicle belonging to the PKK-affiliated armed groups but did not know the number of injuries that resulted.

Several local media sites also told Xeber24 that a Turkish drone bombed one of the points of the Asayish Ezidkhan in the village of Bariya, affiliated to the city of Şengal but as a result of the intensity of the bombing and the flight of Turkish aircraft, they were unable to know the extent of human losses and material damage.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the strikes to Turkey.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

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
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI068

Incident date

September 2, 2021

Location

قرية سيدان, Sidan village, Dohuk, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Between two and three civilians were injured in alleged Turkish strikes on Sidan village on September 2, 2021.

Amedi Mayor Warshin Salman told BasNews that two civilians were wounded in Turkish fighter jets and ground artillery bombardment of Sidan village. At the time of reporting, both of the wounded civilians were in a stable health condition.

A security source told Mawazine News that the Turkish bombing resulted in the injury of three civilians.

Alyaum TV reported that two civilians, Haji Abdullah, aged fifty-five, and Saber Omar, forty-five, were wounded in the strikes. Xeber24 added that both Haji and Saber were injured on their farms and were transferred to the city’s hospital for treatment.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the strikes to Turkey.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (6) [ collapse]

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 and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (6) [ collapse]

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

TS472

Incident date

August 23, 2021

Location

قرية الدردارة, al-Dardarah village, Hassakah, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least two civilians, including a woman, were injured in alleged Turkish shelling of al-Dardarah village on August 23, 2021.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “a young man and a woman were injured due to Turkish bombardment on al-Dardarah village”.

Nabd News provided the names of the civilians injured: Amena Al Faris (21 years), and Khidr al-Fars (39 years)”.

In addition to the injuries, houses in the village sustained material damage.

Nabd News added that the two civilians were “lightly wounded” and that their health condition was stable following treatment and discharge from the hospital they were being treated at, the Martyr Legarin Hospital in the town of Tel Tamr.

All of the sources attributed the strikes to Turkey.

The incident occured in the evening.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

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
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

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
    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
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ 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

TS471

Incident date

August 17, 2021

Location

ابو راسين, Zirgan, Hassakah, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between one and two civilians, including a woman and a child, were killed and between 10 and 20 others, including two women and two children, were injured in alleged Turkish airstrikes on Zirgan on August 17, 2021.

According to North Press Agency (NPA), at least one civilian was killed and between 10 and 20 others were injured. “Nadwa al-Nifekh, 45, was killed in the Turkish bombing, and more than ten wounded civilians were transferred to the hospitals of al-Derbasiyah, Amuda and Hasakah,” local sources from the town said.

Ahram News identified one of the civilians killed as being a woman while Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a little girl was killed along with five civilians injured, along with two images of young children in bandages in a medical facility but it is unclear if they were killed or injured. In another post, (SOHR) put the number of injured civilians at 20, including women and children, and the number killed at two, including a woman and a child.

Rudaw news also reported that a woman and child were killed along with 11 other civilians injured. Images they posted show at least two women, a child, and a man receiving medical treatment for their wounds following the strikes.

A military source of the SDF also told NPA that the bombing included five villages belonging to the town, which are Bab al-Khair, Bab al-Faraj, Tel al-Ward, al-Rabi’at and Shour. He said that about 50 artillery and mortar shells fell on the town alone, which, in addition to human losses, caused great material damage. Ahram News also reported that the bombing caused widespread panic among civilians and led to multiple families leaving the villages.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the shelling to Turkey

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • Shelling of Zirgan on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by NPA)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A child, one of the victims of the bombing of Zirgan on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A child, one of the victims of the bombing of Zirgan on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
  • A child receiving medical treatment after the bombing of Zirgan on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • A woman receiving medical treatment after the bombing of Zirgan on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • A man receiving medical treatment after the bombing of Zirgan on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • A woman receiving medical treatment after the bombing of Zirgan on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Rudaw News)

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
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]