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

CS335 TS005b

Incident date

October 11, 2016

Location

تل بطال, Tall Btal, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.50018, 37.43927 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Between 3 and 4 displaced people were reported killed in camps near Tal Btal, a village south of Ra’i in the Aleppo countryside. It was unclear whether Turkey or the Coalition was responsible.

Ramaf reported that an attack hit a camp, claiming “the lives of three martyrs and [left] more than fifteen wounded as a result of being targeted by Turkish artillery. Ramaf named the three victims.

The ISIS-controlled propaganda unit al Al A’maq Agency reported that four civilians were killed, including a girl “when two tents were targeted with an American raid.”

Only two sources reported on this incident. There are no other known details at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Khaled Ma’rouf Age unknown male killed
  • Mahmoud Sheikh Nouri Age unknown male killed
  • Mohammad Adel Age unknown male killed
  • A female child Child female killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3–4
  • (0–1 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    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 Tal Btal, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 4, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area of the reported civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 10th-11th the Coalition reported that “Near Manbij, three strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units and destroyed six fighting positions and two vehicles.” For October 11th-12th, the Coalition reported “Near Manbij, one strike suppressed an ISIL tactical unit” and that “Near Mar’a, four strikes engaged four ISIL tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions and a vehicle.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3–4
  • (0–1 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS333 TS005a

Incident date

October 8, 2016

Location

دويبق, Dabiq, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.5643925, 37.2749805 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Twelve to 14 civilians, including up to seven children and five women, were killed in air raids on the village of Dabiq in Aleppo governorate, according to local reports. It was alleged that both the Coalition and Turkey were responsible.

The Syrian Network reported “at least 8 civilians died in International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on Al Dabiq village in Aleppo governorate.” Halab Today TV, citing activists, reported that 12 civilians had been killed and others injured “following the targeting by international coalition planes.”

Sky News Arabia also reported a figure of “at least” 10 civilians, which it said were from “the same family,” and it blamed the bombardment on the international coalition – as did Hara FM which added that 23 people were injured. It described raids in residential areas that destroyed five houses, which killed “eight civilians from one family, most of them children and two from a second family” and said eight people had been transferred to Al Bab due to injuries, most of them critical.

However, the Syrian Observatory assigned blame to Turkey and put the death toll at 9 members from the same family. It said the victims were “an elderly man, 3 citizen women and 5 children” and added that others were injured and the death toll was expected to rise as some were in a “critical situation.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Mahmoud Fara Age unknown male killed
  • Mahmoud Fara's wife Age unknown female killed

Family members (6)

  • Sheikho Imam's wife Age unknown female killed
  • Sheikho Imam's wife Age unknown female killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 1 Child killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 2 Child killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 3 Child killed
  • Sheikho Imam' child 4 Child killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9–14
  • (4–7 children4–5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

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 October 7th-8th 2016 the Coalition reported strikes in Aleppo governorate: “Near Mar’a, one strike damaged an ISIL VBIED facility. Near Washiyah, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL-held building and a command and control node.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9–14
  • (4–7 children4–5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS327 TS005

Incident date

October 4, 2016

Location

الثلثانة, Taltanah, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.44605, 37.34302 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Up to 19 civilians including 3 children were killed – and as many as 41 people injured – when airstrikes hit the village of Al Thaltanah. Multiple reports initially assigned blame to the Coalition or Turkish forces. However, on December 1st 2016 the Coalition conceded it had killed one civilian in the event.

The Syrian Network and Syria News Desk reported that seven civilians died, and assigned responsibility to the Coalition. Several other reports also blamed the Coalition. The Syrian Observatory reported that “warplanes” targeted the village “inhabited by Kurdish civilians,” leaving 60 civilian casualties, including 13 confirmed civilian deaths.

In a separate report, the Observatory clarified the airstrikes were carried out “likely by Turkish warplanes,” and reported that the death toll rose to 19 civilians, including 3 children, noting “the number of the dead is likely to rise.” ISIL’s news arm Al A’maq News reported that 10 civilians died and several were injured in an “American raid.”

Reflecting the confusion, al Jazeera cited the Observatory and wrote, “it was unclear whether the strike was carried out by the US-led coalition fighting ISIL, or Turkey, which is leading an operation against the group in the area with support from Syrian rebel forces.”

In its December 1st report the Coalition stated: “During a strike targeting ISIL fighters it is assessed that one civilian was inadvertently killed as a result of the blast following the strike.” This was later amended on April 30th 2017: “Oct. 4, 2016, near Talatanah, Syria: Number 5 on the Dec. 1, 2016, CJTF-OIR press release reported that one civilian was killed during a strike on ISIS fighters. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured.”

Halab News identified 11 civilians, 9 of which it named, who it said were victims of “Coalition plane shelling.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Unidentified from Kleisharo family Age unknown from Kafr Sgheer village killed
  • Unidentified from Kleisharo family Age unknown killed

Family members (3)

  • Mohammad Yahiya al Ibo Age unknown male killed
  • Mahmoud Yahiya al Ibo Age unknown male killed
  • Mustapha Yahyia al Ibo Age unknown male killed

Family members (2)

  • Rashid Risho Age unknown male killed
  • Ahmad Rashid Risho Age unknown male killed

Family members (3)

  • Illo al Haj Illo Age unknown male killed
  • Yahiya Yusuf Al Hajj Illo Age unknown male killed
  • Ibrahim Yahyia al Hajj Illo Age unknown male killed
  • Mohammad al Qarmatli Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    11–19
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    41
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • "Satellite images show recent attack resulted from an airstrike, UN says, as battle for Aleppo sees more children killed", November 2016. (via Al-Jazeera)
  • Location of the village where the air strike took place, November 2016. (via Eastern Manbij countryside)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.4457989, 37.3436021

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by strike blast
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Taltanah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCA515347
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 1, 2016
  • During a strike targeting ISIL fighters it is assessed that one civilian was inadvertently killed as a result of the blast following the strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 3rd-4th 2016, the Coalition reported no strikes in the near vicinity, though others for Aleppo governorate: ”Near Manbij, one strike destroyed an ISIL machine gun. Near Mar’a, four strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions and a command and control node.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    11–19
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    41
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI006

Incident date

October 3, 2016

Location

فايده, Fadhiliya, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.509167, 43.270278 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Local and governmental sources said Turkish artillery had targeted Al Fadhiliyah village in Bashiqa, north of Mosul, resulting in the deaths of two civilian brothers and four injuries. The Coalition later made clear it did not view Turkish actions in Iraq as being a part of the international alliance’s effort to defeat ISIL.

According to Yaqein, “Artillery from Turkish troops stationed in Zlican Camp near Bashiqa, north of Mosul this morning struck Fadliyah village, killing two brothers and injured four people seriously…. The bombing also led to the destruction of eight houses for the citizens of the village.“

The Ankara parliament voted to extend Turkey’s military presence in northern Iraq – despite Iraq making clear it was not welcome. The Coalition’s chief spokesman later told Airwars in a pair of tweets: “I stated all of our coalition forces are in Iraq in coordination with, and with the permission of the government of Iraq. All other nations who wish to come to Iraq to fight terrorism should also have the permission of the government of Iraq.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Ahmad Hamza al-Fadil Age unknown male killed
  • Muhammad Hamza al-Fadil Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS325 TS004

Incident date

October 2, 2016

Location

دابق‎, Dabiq, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.539778, 37.269556 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Between 5 and 8 civilians were reported killed in a Coalition or unilateral Turkish airstrike at Dabiq.

According to LCCSY, “eight civilians from one family, mostly women and children, were martyred due to International Coalition warplanes shelling  #Dabiq village in the northern countryside.” Shaam News also said eight died – which it claimed included 5 children and 3 women. ISIL’s media arm placed the civilian toll at 5 dead, who it said were all from one family.

Syria News Desk reported that civilian housing was targeted and that the bombing destroyed some homes entirely.

Almost all sources blamed the US-led Coalition. However, according to Jisr TV, “Turkish and Coalition planes intensified their raids on the villages of Dabiq and Turkman yesterday in order to prepare for the rebels to attack the villages. There were a number of martyrs and wounded following the raids in the village of Dabiq in the northern Aleppo countryside. The military operations continue.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5–8
  • (5 children3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • News bulletin reporting on the alleged Turkish and Coalition airstrikes on Dabiq, Aleppo, 2nd November 2016. (via Jisir TV) Reporter speaks to correspondent Qahtan al Mustapha: "At 1’00” Turkish and coalition planes intensified their raids on on the villages of Dabeq and Turkman yesterday in order to prepare for the rebels to attack the villages. There were a number of martyrs and wounded following the raids in the village of Dabeq in the northern Aleppo countryside. The military operations continue. The coalition is also raiding areas in the village of Bouz Dubba north of Akhtareen in the northern Aleppo countryside. The battles are still raging around the town of Turkman between IS and the rebels."
  • Report by SN4HR titled, "649 individuals killed at the Hands of the International Coalition Forces including 244 children and 132 women the only way to defeat ISIS is to Ally with the whole Syrian people" (via SN4HR)

  • Arabic version of the report by SN4HR titled, "649 individuals killed at the Hands of the International Coalition Forces including 244 children and 132 women the only way to defeat ISIS is to Ally with the whole Syrian people" (via SN4HR)

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 October 1st-2nd 2016 the Coalition reported no strikes at Dabiq itself, though did note for Aleppo governorate that “Near Manbij, five strikes engaged four ISIL tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions and a vehicle.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5–8
  • (5 children3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS300 TS002

Incident date

August 28, 2016

Location

جب الكوسا, Jeb el Kussa, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.688187, 37.996683 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Twenty people were reported killed and 50 injured after clashes at Jeb el Kussa, south of Jarabulus.

According to Al Alam “these people fell during battles between militants and extremist groups backed by Turkey and the so-called “democratic forces of Syria” and armed groups backed by America.

The Syrian Observatory confirmed casualties in the ranks of the local fighters backed by the Turks in the region.” Russia Today, citing the Syrian Foreign Ministy, said those who died were civilians but blamed “air and artillery weapons of the Turkish army in coordination with armed groups.”

Most media blamed Turkey. However local Free Syrian Army factions accused both Turkey and the US-led Coalition of “deliberate raids by warplanes on al Sreirat and Bu’r al Koussa committing brutal massacres against the unarmed civilians of the elders and women and children killed tens of martyrs and the wounded.”

Ara news: “Syrian Kurds have accused Turkish troops of committing a massacre against civilians in the villages of Jeb al-Kousa and Megher-Sresat, south of Jarabulus. According to human rights organisations, at least 20 Arab civilians were killed and 50 injured under Turkish bombardment.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

Family members (1)

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

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 August 23rd-24th, the Coalition reported that "Near Manbij, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed a vehicle.”

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS003

Incident date

August 28, 2016

Location

ﺍﻟﻌﻤﺎﺭﻧﺔ, Al Armana, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.741944, 38.009722 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Fifteen to 24 civilians were reported killed in Turkish airstrikes on the town of Al Armana, as invading Turkish forces were said to have turned their attention to Kurdish YPG fighters. Al Hayat newspaper reported as many as twenty civilians were killed. 

However, Turkey denied it had killed any non-combatants in the action.

According to Reuters “Turkey said 25 Kurdish militants were killed in its air strikes and denied there were civilian casualties.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (13)

  • Hussam Jamal Othman Age unknown killed
  • Jamal Othman Child killed
  • Jamal Hisham Othman Child killed
  • Jamal Othman Age unknown killed
  • Munira Osman Age unknown killed
  • Fattah Othman Age unknown killed
  • Riza Othman Age unknown killed
  • Hassan Mohamed Osman Age unknown killed
  • Paper Mohammad Ali Osman Age unknown killed
  • ire Ali Osman Age unknown killed
  • Hussein Ali Osman Age unknown killed
  • Osama Mohammed Ali Othman Age unknown killed
  • Ali Osman Age unknown killed
  • Mohammed Ali Mohamed Youssef Age unknown killed
  • Jassem Mohammad Al-Faraj Age unknown the village of Khirbet, a paramedics killed
  • Hussein Hammoud Age unknown the village of Khirbet, a paramedics killed
  • Mahmoud Alberhaoa Ali Age unknown the village of elders, a paramedics killed
  • Jassim Mustafa Jassim Age unknown killed
  • Salim Maher Alasmaeil Age unknown killed
  • Mustafa Mohammed Jassim Age unknown killed
  • Abdul Rahim Mustafa Age unknown killed
  • Subhia Hafez Age unknown killed
  • Aqeel Abdul Rahim Mustafa Child male killed
  • Mona Abdul Rahim Mustafa Child female killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    15–24
  • (4 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish raid on Al Armana, 28th August 2016. (via Free Manbej City)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish raid on Al Armana, 28th August 2016. (via Free Manbej City)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Turkish raid on Al Armana, 28th August 2016. (via Free Manbej City)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish raid on Al Armana, 28th August 2016. (via Ajansa Hawra ANHA)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish raid on Al Armana, 28th August 2016. (via Haraw News)

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    15–24
  • (4 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI005

Incident date

July 17, 2016

Location

الفاضلية, Fadhiliya, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.509167, 43.270278 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A local MP complained that a number of civilians had been killed and injured in fresh Turkish shelling of Fadhiliya village.

Salim Juma told NRN News that artillery strikes from a nearby Turkish base at Bashiqa “killed and injured a number of civilians, including women and children.” The MP called on the regional Kurdish government to intervene, saying that eight houses had been destroyed in two days of recent ‘indiscriminate’ shelling.

No additional reports are presently known.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]