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
Contested
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

TS090

Incident date

August 21, 2017

Location

تل رفعت, Tal Ref’at, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.473056, 37.094444 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

One civilian died and four more were wounded in alleged Turkish shelling of the town of Tal Ref’at, according to local media – though one report also said that the Syrian Free Army also targeted Kurdish units in the town.

Rumaf named Alia Omar Sheikh and Othman Zakaria Mustafa as killed. However, a later report by Rumaf said that Othman Zakaria Mustafa was a member of “the Asayish forces”, the Kurdish security forces. It published images showing the funeral procession.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “Turkish forces shelled areas in Tal Rifat town in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which is controlled by the Syria Democratic Forces. This resulted in the injury of four people”.

SDF press also pointed towards Turkey, reporting that “the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries stationed in the towns of Mara and Kalgberin shelled the Tel Rifaat area with shells and heavy weapons. The shelling resulted in injuries among civilians, who were taken to a hospital.”

However, Ahmad al Farouh, pro-revolution activist from Mare’e, Aleppo, said that the Syrian Free Army targeted Kurdish units in the town with “artillery and mortars” – but made no mention of civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Alia Omar Sheikh Adult female killed
  • Othman Zakaria Mustafa Adult male combatant killed
  • Depo Mohammed Champion Age unknown injured
  • Abdul Basit Ali Sakran Age unknown injured
  • Abdo Sukran Age unknown injured
  • Mohammed Hassan Dibo Age unknown injured
  • Mahmoud Hassan Dibo Age unknown injured
  • Ghazi Rahal (refugee in the city of Tel Rifaat) Age unknown injured
  • Louay Aboush (refugee) Age unknown injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • 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, Free Syrian Army

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • An injured man recives medical treatment following an alleged Turkish or FSA airstrike. (via SDF)
  • Aftermath of an alleged Turkish or FSA airstrike. (via SDF)
  • Funeral procession of the victim. (via Rumaf)
  • Funeral procession of the victim. (via Rumaf)
  • Funeral procession of the victim. (via Rumaf)
  • Funeral procession of the victim. (via Rumaf)
  • Funeral procession of the victim. (via Rumaf)
  • Funeral procession of the victim. (via Rumaf)
  • Funeral procession of the victim. (via Rumaf)

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Free Syrian Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Free Syrian Army
  • Free Syrian Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • 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, Free Syrian Army

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS083 CS514

Incident date

February 20, 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

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Between 12 and 29 civilians including up to five children and five women died in airstrikes on Al Bab, according to local media – though sources were conflicted as to whether this was the work of Turkey or the US-led Coalition.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented today a massacre that took the lives of a family of 11 men and a woman and a child, they were killed by raids by Turkish warplanes and the shells of their forces that fell on the city”.

Syria News Desk said that five children died in the Turkish bombing.

However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed the Coalition for the death of 12 civilians, including 5 children and 4 women”.

Al Hayat also pointed to the Coalition, reporting that “29 were killed and four buildings destroyed  in the coalition air strikes”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Mohammad Kheir Omar Bat-hish Adult male killed
  • his wife Hamida Bat-hish Adult female killed

Family members (3)

  • Hussein al Haj Ahmad Bat-hish Adult male killed
  • his wife Nadwa Hamdan Adult female pregnant killed
  • 7 month old foetus Child killed

Family members (4)

  • Omar Hussein Bat-hish Adult male killed
  • his wife Adult female daughter of Adel al Najeh Al Hamdo al Saleh killed
  • Hissan Omar Bat-hish 4 years old male killed
  • Mohammad Omar Bat-hish 3 years old male killed
  • Unidentified child 1 years old female killed
  • the wife of Mahmoud Hussein Bat-hish Adult female daughter of Alaa al Othman killed
  • the child Hassan Mahmoud Bat-hish Child killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 29
  • (4–5 children5 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • 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 Armed Forces

Sources (10) [ collapse]

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
  • Jun 2, 2017
  • After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient information available to determine if civilians were present or harmed in this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For February 19th-20th, the Coalition reported: “Near Al Bab, one strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.” For February 20th-21st, they reported: “Near Al Bab, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units, destroyed four ISIS-held buildings, and damaged an ISIS-held building.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 29
  • (4–5 children5 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • 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 Armed Forces

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS498 TS081

Incident date

February 16, 2017

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Between 18 and 50 civilians died in an airstrike on Al Bab, according to local sources. While the Syrian Network for Human Rights, reported that ten civilians including two children and four women died in an alleged Coalition airstrie, other sources blamed Tiurkey.

A second report by SN4HR said that “International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on the makeshift hospital in Al Bab city in Aleppo governorate eastern suburbs, severely damaging its building and rendering it inoperable”.

However, Syria News Desk reported that the “Turkish army targeted the eastern neighborhoods in al Bab with several air strikes and artillery shells, resulting in deaths of 23 civilians, including children”.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, “Ibrahim Adel Al Shehabi, a dentist, died along with his children in Der’ Al Furat forces artillery (supported by Turkish forces) shells fired on Al Bab city.”

They also reported the death of three civilians from the same family including a woman.

The Syrian Observatory also attributed the incident to Turkey, reporting that “a massacre was carried out by the Turkish forces, it is not the first one, and may not be the last, but it is a ring in a long series of massacres committed in al-Bab city. This time the victims of the massacre were 10 civilians from two families. They are a doctor and two of his sons under the age of 18, in addition to three men and three women and a child under the age of 18 from the same family. All of them were killed in the continuous Turkish artillery shelling and aerial bombardment on al-Bab city”.

Syria News Desk said that 23 or 25 civilians died from Turkish shelling.

France 24 wrote that 34 civilians were killed, 17 of them children.

Hara FM quoted the ISIS propaganda outlet Al A’amaq who gave the highest death toll at 50.

Al Jazeera did not mention civilian harm but said 77 targets in Al Bab were hit by the Turkish forces.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Family members (10)

Family members (3)

  • Ahmad Mahmoud al Baki Age unknown male killed
  • Abd al Basset Kadro al Dibo Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 50
  • (2 children5 women)
  • 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 Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    'A’maq: 50 civilian martyrs by shelling on the door of the eastern suburb of Aleppo'
  • 'Photos of the city # of al bab of the eastern end of the mountain shows clear smoke poles in the city because of the clashes and shelling currently underway, and there is no truth to the news that the city is liberated or free of civilians.' (via Al bab city and its neighbourhood coordination)
  • 'Photos of the city # of al bab of the eastern end of the mountain shows clear smoke poles in the city because of the clashes and shelling currently underway, and there is no truth to the news that the city is liberated or free of civilians.' (via Al bab city and its neighbourhood coordination)

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 (Aleppo), Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV5821365352
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 29, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For February 16th-17th, the Coalition reported: “Near Al Bab, one strike destroyed a decoy tactical vehicle.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 50
  • (2 children5 women)
  • 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 Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS489 TS079

Incident date

February 13, 2017

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, New Street, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.3705393, 37.5151107 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least 15 civilians from the same family died in either Turkish or Coalition airstrikes, as the battle to seize Al Bab from ISIL continued. Up to nine other non-combatants also died.

Al Jazeera initially placed the death toll at 16 and then 24, though said the fatalities resulted from “shelling and battles in the city.” The Syrian Network blamed the Coalition for the deaths of “17 civilians, including 3 children and 5 women”, while LCCSY reported “21 martyrs in Aleppo killed in Turkish air and artillery bombardment on al Bab.”

According to Shaam News “Al A’amaq agency [ISIL] reported that Turkish aircraft and aircraft of the international coalition launched more than 20 air raid on the city’s neighborhoods, as has been targeting residential neighborhoods with more than 250 artillery shells and grenades.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (12)

Family members (3)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    17 – 24
  • (3 children5 women)
  • 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
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • Translation: 17 were killed and others wounded due to warplane raid targeted the new street in Al-Bab.
  • One of the victims (via Al Bab 24)
  • One of the victims (via Al Bab 24)
  • One of the victims (via Al Bab 24)
  • One of the victims (via Al Bab 24)

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 (Aleppo), Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF3049224538
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 29, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For February 12th-13th 2017 the Coalition publicly reported no strikes in the vicinity of Al Bab.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    17 – 24
  • (3 children5 women)
  • 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
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS487 TS078

Incident date

February 12, 2017

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A Turkish or Coalition airstrike on al Bab killed up to 15 civilians, according to multiple reports.

The Syrian Network blamed the US-led alliance, reporting that “8 civilians, including a child and 2 women, died in International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on Al Bab city.” Syrian News Desk, Manbij Direct and Al Bab 24 all blamed Turkey.

However Al Bab 24 later reported that “The family of Mohammad Dib Bakkour are well and they are outside the city. We apologise for publishing news of their killing.”

Regardless of this correction, reports from the Violations Documentation Center in Syria and Halab Today Tv identified Turkey as the culprit.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 12
  • (1 child2 women6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11
  • 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 Armed Forces

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Video, published on March 10th, listing those killed in a previous alleged Turkish shelling on Al Bab: 'Abd al Rahim Bakkour, Mohamamd Dib Bakkour and his wife, Kafaa Najjar, Aliya Bakkour, Mahmoud A’kkam, Mazen A’kkam.'
  • Translation: 15 martyrs in Al-Bab and others wounded due to Turkish warplanes shelling. Abd al Qader Waki the son of Yusuf and his entire family Mazen Akkam -Mahmoud Akkam Mohammad Adib Bakkour and his family Ahmad Hashem and his mother Ibrahim ahmad Juma’a ( two days ago due to artillery shelling) Hussein Jabuli Ahmad Bathish.
  • Ahmad Bathish (via Al-Bab 24)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For February 11th-12th 2017 the Coalition reported: “Near Al Bab, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a heavy machine gun.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 12
  • (1 child2 women6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11
  • 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 Armed Forces

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS074

Incident date

February 6, 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

According to local sources, Ahmad Bathish died in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Al Bab, Syria.

Al Bab 24 wrote that “Ahmad Bathish died following Turkish shelling on Al Bab today [Feb 6th].”

Al Bab Coordination also named him in a victims’ list posted on Facebook – but didn’t identify who was responsible for his death.

There are no other details at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Ahmad Bathish Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • 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, Unknown

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Ahmad Bathish, killed in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Al Bab, 6th Feb 2017. (via Al Bab 24)

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces 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 man)
  • 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, Unknown

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS071

Incident date

January 31, 2017

Location

تادف, Tedef, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.34857, 37.531501 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Around three civilians were reportedly killed in Tedef near Al Bab due to Turkish or Syrian regime shelling.

Asharq Alarabi reported: “In the governorate of Aleppo, 15 people were killed, eight of them in the shelling of the towns of Tedef, Al Bureij and Al Bab in the governorate’s countryside.”

Cyberaman only reported Syrian regime strikes in the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “three people were killed, including a woman by bombing and shelling by the Turkish forces and warplanes on areas in Tedef town and Al Bab city in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo which is controlled by the ‘Islamic State’ organization.”

The alleged civilian casualties from Al Bab were already mentioned in T69.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • 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, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • 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, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ 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

Geolocation accuracy

City

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 Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

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 Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces 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 Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]