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

TS529

Incident date

July 22, 2022

Location

نبل الخطيب, Nubl Al Khatib, Hama, Syria

Geolocation

35.547320, 36.261513 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One woman and a young man were killed, and five others were reported injured, in an alleged rocket attack by militant organisation National Front for Liberation on the village of Nubl al-Khatib and the Jurin area, west of Hama, Syria, on July 22nd 2022, according to local sources. The group, National Front for Liberation, are backed by Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that these areas are under Syrian regime control and this attack was one of a number of bombardments which they reported came in response to the alleged Russian attacks in the countryside of Idlib last Friday morning.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • 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]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Nubl Al Khatib (نبل الخطيب), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.54732047, 36.26151324. 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
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • 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

TS060

Incident date

January 24, 2017

Location

الباب, Al Bab city, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “a woman and her daughter and another civilian woman were killed in shelling by the Turkish forces and airstrikes on areas in al-Bab city”.

Al Bab 24 reported that “continuous artillery shelling targeted the city [of Al Bab] intermittently the whole day [Jan 24th]. One of the shells fell near Bilal mosque killed a woman from the Shaoukat family. The source didn’t identify the culprit.

AA News reported that both Russia and the US-led Coalition had carried out strikes on Al Bab – but made no mention of civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Woman from Shaoukat family Adult female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child1–2 women)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, US-led Coalition, Russian Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child1–2 women)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, US-led Coalition, Russian Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS042

Incident date

January 6, 2017

Location

العمادية, Al A’mya, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

35.245556, 37.423611 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between three and eight civilians including two children died in artillery and/or air strikes on the Syrian village of Al A’mya in the eastern Aleppo countryside, according to local media – though sources were conflicted as to whether this was the work of Turkey or the Syrian regime.

Halhos1 was among sources blaming Turkey. It put the death toll at three with 27 members of ISIS also killed in “dozens of raids” and artillery shelling.

However, Baladi pointed towards the regime, reporting that “according to the correspondent of My News in Aleppo, Yazen al-Halabi, eight civilians were martyred and others were wounded by intensive artillery and missile fire at the Qurays airport on the Abu Talal area, southeast of the city of Bab”.

Bof-sy also said that regime artillery shelling was responsible. It put the death toll at seven with others injured.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, “three civilians, including two children, died in Der’ Al Furat forces- supported by Turkish forces- artillery shelling of Al Amya village in Aleppo governorate eastern suburbs, January 7, 2017.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (2 children)
  • 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 attackers
    Turkish Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • After the implementation of Turkish flights to dozens of raids on the city of #Bab and artillery shelling announced the death of 3 princes of the # Da'ash and 27 elements. (via @halhos1)
  • Turkish air strikes on the sites of the ISIS# the terrorist in the city of # Bab (via @FURATDRE)

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (2 children)
  • 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 attackers
    Turkish Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS345 TS005d

Incident date

October 22, 2016

Location

الطويحينة, Al Tweihina, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.443611, 37.248056 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Airstrikes, possibly carried out by Turkish forces, killed one civilian according to one local report. Others referred only to violent clashes between non state actors.

Smart News Agency reported that “international Coalition aircraft” targeting ISIS in Al Tweihina which it said killed one civilian and two members of the terror group. However, the report identified the village as being located in Raqqa governorate.

The Syrian Observatory reported instead that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attacked “Turkish soldiers” in the vicinity of Al Tweihina. The Observatory added that “different sources confirmed to SOHR that a number of Turkish soldiers were killed” though it may have been referencing rebels supported by Turkey. It did however allude to “aerial reconnaissance aircraft” in the area, possibly belonging to Turkey.

Tal Abiyad posted pictures and video of an armoured vehicle that it said was captured from the “al Sham Front.” (update from December 2018, this video is no longer available to view online.)

Daily Sabah meanwhile cited the Turkish military and reported that “FSA fighters with the support of the Turkish military continued to attack” Kurdish forces in the area. The report cited a number of airstrikes.

In their June 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • 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 (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A map highlighting that the village is in the Aleppo countryside not Raqqa countryside. It is in the bottom left corner of the area highlighted in light blue. (via Airwas researcher)
  • An armoured vehicle reportedly captured by SDF fighters from the “al Sham Front.” (via Tal Abiyad News)
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
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCA429345
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 24, 2020
  • Oct. 22, 2016, in Tweihina, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3072/CS345 37SCA429345

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 21st-22nd, the Coalition reported “Near Washiyah, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.” For October 22nd-23rd, the Coalition reported “Near Mar’a, one strike destroyed an ISIL artillery system.”

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • 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 (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS509

Incident date

May 22, 2022

Location

الطويلة, Tawila, Hassakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.650556, 40.271667 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least three civilians, farmers, were injured in alleged Turkish shelling of the town of Tel Tamr on May 22, 2022.

North Press Agency reported that three civilians were wounded in Turkish shelling in the vicinity of the town of Tel Tamr. “A military source of Tel Tamr Military Council of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that the Turkish shelling on the two villages of al-Gheibish and Tawila led to the injury of three civilians.” North Press Agency also provided the names of the victims: Ayman Ali Al-Ahmad, 25, Luay Khalil Hammad, 20, and Redwan Turki Al-Tukhaimi, 30, who were all hospitalized in the city of Hassakah.

One of the wounded, Luay, told Hawar News that “we returned again to harvest, and when we arrived at the field, shells rained down on us in the field, and we were hit by shrapnel, and other citizens were injured.” Luay also told Gire Sri that they were “heading on board a combine harvester to harvest wheat in a field”. Gire Sri News identified those injured as “3 farmers who were working in harvesting the wheat crop in a field”.

Haval Sedo reported that the three injured farmers were transferred to the Martyr Lykeren Hospital in Tel Tamer district.

Xeber24 added that the shelling occurred in the village of Tawila, Tal Tamr district, adjacent to the M4 international road in Rojava. Haval Sedo added that the artillery shelling caused a fire in the fields of the people in the village of Abush. According to @Rojava_Media, electric distribution centers that supply electricity to Tel Tamer were also bombed, with @SteeleSyAA added that the electricity transfer station was heavily damaged.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the shelling to Turkey. Kurdistan24 added that Turkish drones were flying overhead during the bombardment and a tweet from @war_watch_world reported that both artillery and mortar shells were used in the attack.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Ayman Ali Al-Ahmad 25 years old injured
  • Luay Khalil Hammad 20 years old injured
  • Redwan Turki Al-Tukhaimi 30 years old 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 (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Damage caused by shelling on Tel Tamr on May 22, 2022. (Image posted by North Press Agency)
  • Civilians injured in alleged Turkish shelling of Tel Tamr on May 22, 2022. (Image posted by Hawar News)
  • Alleged Turkish strikes on Tel Tamar on May 22, 2022. (Image posted by @SteeleSyAA)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Tawila (الطويلة), for which the generic coordinates are; 36.650556, 40.271667. 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 (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS512a

Incident date

June 1, 2022

Location

village of Gorik, Raqqa, Syria

Airwars assessment

One civilian was injured in alleged Turkish shelling of the village of Gorik in western Gire Spi Canton on June 1, 2022.

According to Hawar News, Mohamed Ismail, known as Abu Umar was injured in Turkish shelling of the village of Gorik in western Gire Spi Canton. Abu Umar was taken to Manbij hospital but there was no further information on his condition.

@RojavaIC similarly reported that Mohamed Ismail was injured in Syrian National Army shelling near Tel Abyad.

There were no other sources that reported on this incident. No other information is available to Airwars at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Mohamed Ismail Adult male known as Abu Umar injured

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 (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Mohamed Ismail, known as Abu Umar, who was injured in alleged Turkish shelling of the village of Gorik in western Gire Spi Canton on June 1, 2022. (Image posted by Hawar News)

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 (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS069 RS1872

Incident date

January 30, 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

Airwars assessment

Between four and seven civilians were reportedly killed in alleged Russian or Turkish airstrikes on Al Bab.

Hara FM accused Russia of the attack: “Four people dead and three wounded from one family from Russian bombing of the village Qasr al-Bureij southeast of the city of Al Bab.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights also blamed Russia and added that two children and a woman were among the victims.

Halab Today TV published two reports, saying the death toll was either five or seven, including four children wounded. It did not clearly blame any belligerent for the incident. As Turkey repeatedly shelled Al Bab during this period of time, Turkish involvement does not seem unlikely.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 7
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • 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
    Turkish Military, Russian Military

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • "5 civilians were killed and 6 others wounded by air and artillery bombardment of Bab and Tadef in the eastern suburbs of Aleppo yesterday" (via Halab Today TV)

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 7
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • 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
    Turkish Military, Russian Military

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS050

Incident date

January 14, 2017

Location

بزاعة , Beza’a city, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

One woman died and one man was injured in shelling on Beza’a city, Syria, according to local media.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “a woman was killed and her husband was wounded in Turkish artillery and rocket shelling on areas in Bzaah town near al-Bab city”.

Al Bab24 reported the death of “the wife of Ahmad Salah Kassem, the daughter of Mr. Haseeb” in “artillery shelling” – though it didn’t name the culprit.

There are no other details at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • the wife of Ahmad Salah Kassem Adult female the daughter of Mr. Haseeb killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Facebook post naming the victim of an alleged Turkish airstrike, 13th January 2017. (via Al bab 24 facebook)

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]