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

TS028

Incident date

December 21, 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

Between seven and 15 civilians, most of them apparently from one family, were reported killed in a Turkish bombardment of Al Bab, Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “the city is witnessing massive bombardment by the Turkish forces leading to the death of seven, the majority of them from one family, the number of the dead is likely to rise.”

The ISIS media propaganda outlet Al A’amaq published a similar report but said all the victims were from one family.

LCCSY and Al Bab News reported that 15 people were killed. Al Bab News added they were mostly from the Al Nako family and four of them children. In addition, one woman from the Al Masri family was reported dead.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

  • Member of the Al Masri family Adult female killed

Family members (4)

  • Member of the Al Nako family Child killed
  • Member of the Al Nako family Child killed
  • Member of the Al Nako family Child killed
  • Member of the Al Nako family Child killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 15
  • (0–4 children0–1 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • 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 (7) [ 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
    7 – 15
  • (0–4 children0–1 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • 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 (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS022

Incident date

December 14, 2016

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.369073, 37.499594 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Several sources reported the targeting of civilian infrastructure by Turkish warplanes in Al Bab, Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights wrote: “Turkish warplanes targeted the national hospital in the city of Bab in the north-eastern Aleppo countryside with several strikes, which is controlled by the Islamic State. No information about casualties so far.”

Khaled Shaban reported something similar on Twitter.

The ISIS news outlet Al A’amaq claimed that the hospital was hit by three strikes.

Step News said there were “deaths and injuries” but didn’t elaborate if they were civilians.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • 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 (4) [ 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
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS015

Incident date

November 24, 2016

Location

صابويران, Sab Wayran, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.51741, 37.65538 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Two civilians from Sab Wayran were killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes, according to local media.

Smart News reported: “Two civilians were killed and others wounded on Wednesday by Turkish air and missile strikes on the city of Manbij, Aleppo, according to the information office of the Manbij military council.

The spokesperson, Ahmed Mohammed, told Smart News, the village of Sab Wayran, west of Manbij, was subjected to raids by the Turkish air force, and the bombing of rocket launchers from the Turkish army, killing civilians and wounding seven others.”

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights wrote: “A video shows a testimony by one of the citizens of Sab Wayran village near Eryma town in the countryside of Manbij and controlled by Manbij Military Council, which also injured other members of his family and killed two of his children, in addition to the destruction of his home and his property.“

A transcript of SOHR’s interview with Mr Salah Rashid Darwish Mesha’lo, from Sab Waryan, reads as follows: “We were seven families. We were bombarded by the Turkish warplanes. There weren’t military checkpoints around us or anything, but we were bombarded by the Turkish warplanes. There are four wounded and two girls were killed aged 5 and 6 years old. The house was destroyed and my car and bike were destroyed. This small boy is my son [camera pans to injured boy and girl.]”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (6)

  • Daughter (1) of Salah Rashid Darwish Mesha’lo 5 years old female killed
  • Daughter (2) of Salah Rashid Darwish Mesha’lo 6 years old female killed
  • Daughter (3) of Salah Rashid Darwish Mesha’lo Child female injured
  • Son (1) of Salah Rashid Darwish Mesha’lo Child male injured
  • Unknown family member (1) Age unknown injured
  • Unknown family member (2) injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–7
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ 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
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–7
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS011

Incident date

November 20, 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

A child was reportedly killed and 12 more people injured as a result of Turkish artillery shelling in Al Bab.

The ISIS-affiliated media outlet Al A’amaq reported: “A child was killed and 12 people injured by Turkish artillery on the neighbourhoods of Al Bab northeast of Aleppo.“

Ajal posted a similar report on Twitter, though also noted that the child victim was a girl.

Al Jazeera and TRT reported airstrikes on ISIS positions in the north, northeast and west of Al Bab and in the Al Qabaseen village near the city, though made no mention of civilian harm. TRT noted in particular the heavy bombardment that day: “# Urgent Turkish army, Air Force destroyed 17 sites of the organization # Daesh in the north and north-east and west of the city of # Bab (east of Aleppo #) and the villages of Kabassin.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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]

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
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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

TS010

Incident date

November 15, 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

Turkish artillery or tank shelling reportedly hit a kindergarten in Al Bab, Syria.

The ISIS propaganda outlet Al A’amaq reported: “Two dead and ten wounded, including three children, due to Turkish tank bombardment in Al Bab city.”

It added that residential areas and the village Al-Qabaseen north of Al Bab were struck.

Alrawi tweeted it was in fact artillery shelling: “A child’s hand was amputated and several children were wounded in a Turkish artillery shelling targeting a kindergarten in Al-Bab,” it claimed.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • 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]

  • 'May God help you. A child's hand was amputated and several children were wounded in a Turkish artillery shelling targeting a kindergarten in Bab 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
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • 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

TS009

Incident date

November 14, 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

Between three and five civilians were reported killed as a result of Turkish airstrikes or artillery shelling on Al Bab.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that bombing during the Euphrates Shield operation “resulted in the deaths of four people at least and dozens wounded, some of them still in critical condition.”

Rojava 24 tweeted: “Five civilians lost their lives as a result of Turkish shelling on the northern countryside of the town of Al-Bab.”

A Facebook site for the city later named two related victims of this event: “Ali al-Mastu al-Kalzi and Mustapha Mahmoud al-Kalzi, during the shelling of the city’s neighborhoods three days ago.”

The ISIS-affiliated propaganda outlet Al A’amaq reported “three dead and 27 injured civilians including three in critical condition following Turkish artillery bombardment on the city of Al Bab in the Aleppo countryside.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Mustapha Mahmoud al-Kalzi Age unknown male killed
  • Ali al-Mastu al-Kalzi Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 5
  • Civilians reported injured
    27
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • '# Aleppo Activist for # Rojava 24: 5 Civilians lost their lives as a result of Turkish shelling on the northern countryside of the town 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
    3 – 5
  • Civilians reported injured
    27
  • 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 (8) [ 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. 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 injured 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.”

In July 2019 the Coalition provided Airwars with the location for this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11 – 19
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    41
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    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 / Substantiated
    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 injuries 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
  • Apr 30, 2017
  • Dec 1, 2016
  • Oct. 4, 2016, near Taltanah, Syria: During a strike targeting ISIL fighters it is assessed that one civilian was inadvertently killed as a result of the blast following the strike.

  • 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.

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

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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]