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
Confirmed
Fair
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

TS038

Incident date

January 3, 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

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

According to local sources, 11 civilians were killed and 26 injured in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Al Bab, Syria.

Al Jazeera posted on Twitter that “11 people were killed and 26 wounded and an ambulance destroyed after Turkish bombardment of the city of Bab in the countryside of eastern Aleppo.”

Al Bab Al Hadath published a similar report.

Other sources like Smart News also reported airstrikes as well as artillery shelling but did not mention civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]

  • 11 people were killed and 26 wounded and the destruction of an ambulance after the Turkish bombardment of the city of Bab in the countryside of eastern Aleppo (via AJASyria)
  • Footage showing the aftermath of the alleged Turkish airstrike on Al Bab, 3rd January 2017. (via Nadia Abdulaziz)

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
    11
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • 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]

Incident Code

TI002

Incident date

August 1, 2015

Location

زرجيلي, Zergele, Kurdistan, Iraq

Geolocation

36.063457, 45.332963 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Multiple Turkish airstrikes reportedly killed eight or more residents and injured at least eight others – including a child – in an attack on the village of Zergele in the Kandil Mountains.

Alusmaria reported: “Turkish planes today bombed the village of Zergele north of the border, killing eight civilians, wounding ten others and destroying seven houses.”

Rudaw said ten civilians died and eleven were injured.

All Iraq News wrote that 22 houses were destroyed in the attack.

Amnesty International later concluded that none of the dead or injured were affiliated to the PKK: “Evidence gathered during a visit by Amnesty International to the village of Zergele three days after the airstrikes suggests all those killed and injured in the attack were not affiliated with the PKK. Amnesty International spoke to several eyewitnesses, including two doctors who rescued the wounded and three residents who consistently said that none of the dead or injured were PKK fighters and that there were no PKK fighters in the area. Those killed included a local mayor and two municipality workers.

All the witnesses who were present at the time of the attack or arrived there shortly afterwards said that the victims wore civilian clothes and that they saw no weapons on the scene. Amnesty International reviewed 10 photographs and one video from the scene that were consistent with these witness statements.”

The international NGO also added the following: “The apparent absence of a military target within the vicinity of the airstrikes suggests that these strikes are unlawful whether or not there is an armed conflict between the Turkish authorities and the PKK. The Turkish government has displayed a flagrant disregard for the lives of local residents and failed to take necessary precautions to minimize harm to them, or to discriminate between them and PKK fighters.”

While early reporting put the numbers of dead between six and ten, eight killed and eight injured is the figure used by Amnesty and other sources.

The Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraqi Kurdistan (CPTIK) collected testimonies of witnesses. In a Youtube-video, Jegir, an eyewitness, says: “There were two different planes: a drone and an aeroplane. They were circling the Qandil area. 20 minutes after the first attack, when we were trying to take the dead bodies about 30 metres away, we heard the explosions from the second attack. We could not do anything, people separated and tried to hide. There were four rockets in the second attack. I ran one hundred meters in 30 seconds to get away. Then, there were four more rockets in a third attack.”

Jegir’s uncle Mohammed Amin was severely injured. In his testimony to CPTIK, Mohammed Amin tells how his mother was killed in the airstrike: “When we tried to carry our mum’s body away, the bombing started again.” Besides his mother, Amin also lost his son, two cousins and another relative.

A Peshmerga fighter who was also interviewed stated that his phone rang at exactly 3:50 AM with the news that his mother had been killed in the attack.

The incident occured between 3:00 am and 5:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Mohamed Ameen Adult male Peshmerga injured
  • Sinur Adult female Sister in law of Mohamed injured

Family members (4)

  • Gerbet Ahmed Adult female injured
  • Shukariya Ahmed Adult female Sister of Gerbet injured
  • Khadija Adult female Mother of Gerbet and Shukariya injured
  • Chilan Rasheed Child female Niece of Gerbet and Shukariya injured
  • Ayesha Ahmed Mustafa Adult female killed
  • Salih Mohamed Ameen Adult male Local mayor killed
  • Heybet Mohamed Ameen Age unknown male killed
  • Najeeb Aziz Age unknown male killed
  • Sama Khabat Age unknown male Municipality worker killed
  • Endomen Sharawonch Age unknown male Municipality worker killed
  • Karoh Mohamed Ameen Adult male Identified as peshmerga by Amnesty killed
  • Abdulkader Bakr Adult male Identified as peshmerga by Amnesty killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • (1 child2 women5–7 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–11
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Turkish air strikes on August 1st in Zergele kill local residents according to a video published by Amnesty
  • 'Aftermath of airstrike in the village of Zergele, in the Kandil Mountains in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on 1 August 2015' (via Amnesty International)
  • Investigation of a reported strike location at Zergele (Image from ANF via Amnesty)

Geolocation notes

Location of Zergele (via TRT)

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • (1 child2 women5–7 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–11
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS238

Incident date

March 2, 2018

Location

هيلجار جنديرس, Hijlar, Jindires, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.385278, 36.717778 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Local media reported that between eight and 10 civilians died and up to 16 more were wounded in alleged Turkish air and artillery strikes on Hijlar, Jindires.

According to Rok news, “Turkish forces carried out a massacre of civilians in the village of Hujailar in the countryside of northwestern Syria, field sources said. The sources confirmed Turkish artillery had targeted the houses of civilians and their vehicles, killing eight civilians and wounding 12 others.”

Rok and other sources claimed that Turkish forces had “kidnapped” the wounded and transported the dead bodies to Hattai in an attempt to “hide” the “massacre”.

The pro-Syrian regime source Syriaalasad put the death toll at 10 with 16 more injured.

Xeber 24 added that the YPG had attacked Turkish forces in the area, reporting thatthe People’s and Women’s Protection Units carried out a qualitative operation in the village of Hjilar in the Jandrissa district. The sources confirmed that nine Turkish soldiers were killed and another eight wounded”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–16
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]

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
    8 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–16
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS041

Incident date

January 6, 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 six and ten civilians died and up to 30 more were wounded in alleged Turkish air and artillery strikes on Al Bab, Syria, local media reported.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least six civilians died and others were wounded – including children – in Turkish strikes on Al Bab – though it was unclear whether the report referred to a separate incident on January 7th.

An IS propaganda source, Al Raed La Ykazeb Ahlahu, put the death toll at eight with 13 more wounded in “Turkish air and artillery shelling on the neighbourhoods of al Bab, north east of Aleppo.”

A Tweet by Jason_Alassad also blamed Turkey, reporting that 10 civilians died and more than 30 were wounded in the attack, which occurred on “Friday morning [i.e. January 6th].”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    13–30
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • 10 civilians were killed and more than 30 injured in the city of Bab east# Aleppo, as a result of the targeting of the flight # Turkish-occupation to the east of the city on Friday morning [i.e. 6th] (via @JasonAlassad)

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
    6 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    13–30
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS271

Incident date

March 13, 2018

Location

بعدينة, Ba'adina village, Mabeta district, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.62, 36.690833 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

At least nine civilians died, and more were wounded in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Ba’adina village, Syria, local media reported. Sources said that the bus or motorcade which the victims were travelling in was struck.

According to Defend Afrin, “Turkish jets targeted a group of villagers who were returning to their village Bedina of Afrin’s Mabata district: At least 9 civilians have been killed.”

SDF War Media reported: “Nine civilians were martyred and others were wounded in shelling by the Turkish occupation of a civilian car near the town of Ba’adina. The civilians died while they were attempting to move to safe areas.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A picture show dead body carrying by aid team following an alleged airstrike on Ba'adina village, Mabeta district, Afrin, 13th March 2018. (source: @Hec_Hecik_)

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
    9
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS127

Incident date

January 26, 2018

Location

معبطلي, Ma'abatli village, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.562634, 36.74562 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Between seven and nine civilians from one family died in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Ma’abatli village, according to sources on the ground. The family were reportedly from the city of Idlib. Local media said that three of them remained under the rubble.

The story of the family’s death formed the basis of an article by Robert Fisk in The Independent, who said the strike took place at around 1am and hit the family home: “When Taha Mustafa al-Khatr, his wife Amina, his two daughters Zakia and Safa and son Sulieman went to bed in the tiny village of Maabatli, they placed their shoes outside the door. Most Middle Eastern families do the same. It’s a tradition and a sign of cleanliness in the home. The cheap plastic slippers were still there, of course, when the Turkish shell hit their house at one in the morning – and when I arrived a few hours later, I found the same shoes, a few blown down the stairs but most still neatly lined up next to each other. Did one of the daughters choose the slippers with the plastic bows? Even the rescue workers – such as they are in the Kurdish province of Afrin – didn’t touch the shoes. They left one of the blood-soaked bedspreads where it was in the rain under the collapsed roof of the cheap breeze-block house. The bodies, of course, had gone.”

Al Jazeera put the death count at nine

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Taha Al-Khater 40 years old male reported by Free Afrin who said their “bodies arrived at the hospital” killed
  • Amina Al-Khater 40 years old female reported by Free Afrin who said their “bodies arrived at the hospital” killed
  • Zakiya al Khater 15 years old female reported by Free Afrin who said their “bodies arrived at the hospital” killed
  • Suleiman Al-Khater 14 years old male reported by Free Afrin who said their “bodies arrived at the hospital” killed
  • Israa Al-Khater Adult female reported by Free Afrin who said their “bodies arrived at the hospital” killed
  • Mostafa Taha Al Khater 17 years old male named by the Kurdish Red Crescent killed
  • Yusra Taha Al Khater 9 years old female named by the Kurdish Red Crescent killed
  • Safa Taha Al Khater 19 years old female named by the Kurdish Red Crescent killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 9
  • (4 children3 women)
  • 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 (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via azzatBko)
  • Civilian bodies are dragged out of the rubble in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via azzatBko)
  • Civilian bodies are dragged out of the rubble in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via azzatBko)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The bodies of civilian casualties, killed as a result of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Nidal Hannan)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Nidal Hannan)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Nidal Hannan)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Free Afrin)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Only the feet of a civilian can be seen after being trapped under the rubble following an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Free Afrin)
  • Civilian bodies are dragged out of the rubble in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Afrin Anha)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Afrin Anha)
  • Civilian bodies are dragged out of the rubble in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Arif Now)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The bodies of civilian casualties in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on a civilian home in Ma'abatli village, Afrin, 26th January 2018. (via Arif Now)

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
    8 – 9
  • (4 children3 women)
  • 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 (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS082

Incident date

February 17, 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 four and nine civilians including one woman died in alleged Turkish strikes on Al Bab, according to local media.

The victims were also named by Syrian Human Rights Committee, who blamed Turkey as well.

In a MTV Lebanon video on February 17th – at 0’15, the voice over states that  “the Turkish army announced that it is near to completing the operation of taking control of the city of al Bab From Daesh.  Nine civilians were killed. Ankara reported the deaths of 13 members of Daesh”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Mohammad Abd al Basset al Bakri Age unknown male named by Al Bab and its outskirts coordination group on Facebook killed
  • Zaher Mohammad Juma’a Sheikh Wees Adult male named by Al Bab and its outskirts coordination group on Facebook killed
  • Amina al Kalzi Adult female Zaher’s wife, named by Al Bab and its outskirts coordination group on Facebook killed
  • Saleh Hussein al Jabli Age unknown male named by Al Bab and its outskirts coordination group on Facebook killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 9
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • News bulletin of the incident on Al Bab with alleged Turlish airstrike on 17th Feb 2017. (via MTV Lebanon)

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
    4 – 9
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS260

Incident date

March 9, 2018

Location

مريمين, Mariamin, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.531667, 36.950833 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

According to local media, at least nine civilians including two or three children and one woman died, and between 10 and 17 or more people were wounded following an alleged Turkish air and artillery bombardment of Mariamin, Syria.

Afrin Qalb Al-Hadath reported more than seventeen wounded and nine martyrs, including three civilian children in the village of Mariamin.

According to Delshar Afrin, two children were killed in the village of Mariamin because of the indiscriminate artillery bombardment of the village. Civilians and civilians have not evacuated the village of Mariamin are still in their homes.

According to SDF Press, Turkey targeted civilians in the village with indiscriminate shelling from heavy weapons and airstrikes. It added that the bakery had been destroyed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at five including two children and a woman.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 9
  • (2–3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–17
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Footage shows a group of civilians including children, were using a shelter in Maryamayn village. At least ten civilians were injured followed an alleged Turkish shelling (source: Humammed Hac Mustafa, a freelancer associated with Anadolu Agency)
  • A group of civilians including children, were using a shelter in Maryamayn village when alleged Turkish shelling on 9th March 2018. (via, Humammed Hac Mustafa, a freelancer associated with Anadolu Agency)
  • A group of civilians including children, were using a shelter in Maryamayn village when alleged Turkish shelling on 9th March 2018. (via, Humammed Hac Mustafa, a freelancer associated with Anadolu Agency)
  • A group of civilians including children, were using a shelter in Maryamayn village when alleged Turkish shelling on 9th March 2018. (via, Humammed Hac Mustafa, a freelancer associated with Anadolu Agency)

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
    2 – 9
  • (2–3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–17
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]