Turkish Military in Iraq & Syria

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

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

Incident Code

TI097

Incident date

October 7, 2023

Location

مخيم مخمور, Makhmur Camp, Erbil Governorate , Kurdistan, Iraq

Airwars assessment

On October 7th, 2023, a civilian was killed and at least three civilians—a woman and two boys— were injured after an alleged Turkish drone strike on the Makhmour Camp in the Erbil Governorate of the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The woman, who remains unnamed, was reported to be 72-years-old (born in 1951), and appears to have received an injury to her arm or shoulder; images from sources corroborate this. One of the boys was reported to be 15 (born in 2008); images included show him with an oxygen mask and IV. The other boy, who appears to be younger, was pictured receiving medical care to his leg. Rudaw Media Network reported that one other civilian was killed, but this was not corroborated elsewhere, and no identifying details of this victim were made public. Those injured were housed in the second section of the camp.

The strike occurred at 7:05 pm, according to Rudaw, and hit the camp mosque during the evening prayer. Rashad Kalali, the deputy official of Kurdish political party Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, was reported by Rudaw as saying that there were rumors that PKK militants were inside the camp, which resulted in its targeting. These rumors, Kalali stressed, were not accurate.

The camp, which locals call the Martyr Rustam Cudi Camp, houses between 10,000 to 12,000 people, primarily Kurds displaced from neighboring Turkey.

The incident occured at 19:05:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp, Religious Institution
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ronahi.tv
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: ANF
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ronahi.tv
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ronahi.tv

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp, Religious Institution
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI098

Incident date

October 13, 2023

Location

مخيم مخمور, Makhmur camp, Erbil Governorate , Kurdistan, Iraq

Airwars assessment

A woman was injured after an alleged Turkish drone strike hit a home in the Makhmur camp at approximately 9:25AM on October 13th, 2023.

The woman, 50-year-old Aisha Muhammad Ahmed, was a resident of the camp, which houses between 10,000 to 12,000 displaced Kurds. Her injuries, many of which look to be on her face and head, appeared to be severe. According to the co-chair of the camp’s People’s Council, Youssef Kara, the strike his the house of Rojhat Saleh.

A source told Shafaq News Agency that “The bombing was carried out by a Turkish drone and targeted a location inside the camp where supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party live. The bombing site is close to the site that was bombed last week, and the damage is not yet known.”

The incident occured at 09:25:00 local time.

The victims were named as:

Aisha Muhammad Ahmed عائشة محمد أحمد
50 years old female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ronahi.tv
  • Source: هامسا الكردية Hamsa Kurdish
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: هامسا الكردية Hamsa Kurdish
  • Source: ANF

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI099

Incident date

October 17, 2023

Location

قرية كاني كندي , Kani Kindi village, Koya District, Kurdistan, Iraq

Airwars assessment

On Tuesday, October 17th, 2023, one man was killed and up to three other civilians, women, were injured after an alleged Turkish drone strike on a car in the Kani Kindi village in the Koya district of Kurdistan, Iraq.

The car was reported to have belonged to citizens of the Makhmour refugee camp; the driver was killed immediately and three others belonging to one family were injured. 27-year-old Dolovan Işlik was driving, and appeared to have been traveling to visit a relative in the town of Rania. It is unclear whether the relative was his sister or sister-in-law; they were apparently visiting to help the relative with their work in fishing or livestock. It should be noted that while most sources referred to the deceased as Dolovan Işlik, Al Araby News, quoting the police director of the town of Koysanjak, referred to him as Delovan Salam Suleiman.

ANF reported that the injured were three women, which Roj News echoed. While Al Araby reported that only one person was injured, all other sources mentioned three wounded.

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Dolovan Işlik دلوفان إشليك
27 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–3
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Dolovan Işlik, killed by alleged Turkish drone strikes in the village of Kani Kindi on October 17, 2023. (Image posted by Roj News)
    Source: Ronahi.tv
  • Source: Hawar News

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–3
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI100

Incident date

December 5, 2023

Location

بامرني, Bamerni, Amedi District, Duhok, Iraq

Airwars assessment

At around 7AM on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, a man was killed and up to three others injured after an alleged Turkish bombardment in the Bamerni subdistrict of Amedi, in Dohuk Governorate.

Gulan Media named the deceased as 44-year-old Ali Jamil Kalash, the father of four children. Kalash was near his home when he died: the strike hit 250 kilometers away from his residence.

While Gulan Media referred to Ali as an “off-duty Peshmerga fighter,” all other sources reported that he was a civilian. Erem News reported that the belligerent, who they named as the Turkish military, carried out “three strikes” and emphasized that those injured and killed had no affiliation with the PKK.

One of the injured was reported as 23-year-old Matin Sadiq, a shepherd. He was brought to the Duhok Emergency Hospital for treatment.

Jamil Kalash, Ali’s father, spoke about the hours leading up to his son’s death, commenting that he had been at his parents’ home, entertaining guests, until 10:30 the previous night. It is unclear whether Ali died immediately or after some time, as multiple sources from December 6th reported he died after he “succumbed to his injuries.”

The number of other injuries is unclear. While Bas News reported three injured and stated they had all been taken to hospitals in Duhok province, Kurdistan 24 and Ronahi TV both reported that there was only one injury. Hawar News reported that, along with the one death and one injury, another person was missing. It is unclear whether this missing civilian was one of the injured reported by other sources.

The strike occurred in a “populated area” near an irrigation project, and also caused property damage amongst residential buildings and farms.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the strike to Turkish forces.

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

The victims were named as:

Ali Jamil Kalash علي جميل كلش
44 years old male Contested as militant killed
Matin Sadiq
23 years old male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture, Water station
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–3
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture, Water station
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–3
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI101

Incident date

December 28, 2023

Location

قرية كاركي, Karki, Sinjar District, Nineveh, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Between 6 and 8 PM on Thursday, December 28th, 2023, at least five people were killed and two others injured after an alleged Turkish drone strike on the village of Karki in the Sinjar district of Mosul province. The civilian status of five of the men killed is contested within the sources.

Those killed were young men, originally from northern and eastern Syria; information on the wounded was not made available. Roj News, in conjunction with the Democratic Autonomous Administration of Shingal District identified the deceased as follows: 21-year-old Ramadan al-Hammadi, originally from Raqqa; 24-year-old Shaheen Ali, from Kobani; 20-year-old Hussein al-Hussein, also from Raqqa; 23-year-old Ahmed al-Mohammed al-Ali, from Raqqa; and Raqqa-born Munir al-Bakour. al-Bakour’s age was not publicly declared.

There remains dispute regarding the circumstances of the strike. While the local administration in Sinjar reported those killed were working digging wells to provide water for the villages of Kora Samukiya, Al-Arbay News stated that the bombing was a deliberate strike targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Al-Araby claimed their source, members of Nineveh security, as saying the strike targeted “a group of Labor Party activists.” Al-Arbay also specified that the local Sinjar administration is “known for its association” with the PKK.

Haider Sheshu, a commander of local militia Ezidkhan Protection Units, stated that he was unsure “whether the dead were fighters or civilians.”

Roj News reported the belligerent bombed the area three consecutive times. All of the sources attributed the drone strikes to Turkish forces.

The incident occured between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Water station
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (0–5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–5

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Hawar News
  • Source: Hawar News
  • Source: Hawar News

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Water station
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (0–5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–5

Sources (11) [ collapse]