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

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

TI010

Incident date

September 20, 2017

Location

دهوك, Dohuk, Kurdistan, Iraq

Geolocation

36.865292, 42.991828 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The Kurdistan Regional Government said that seven civilians were killed by Turkish airstrikes on Dohuk village.

Skyiraq reported: “The air strikes launched by the Turkish warplanes targeted areas in the province of Dohuk and killed seven civilians.”

The government said in a statement that while the citizens were going to do their work on their farms, the warplanes bombed those areas as they were targeting PKK positions.”

Rwa.adiona published a similar story.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Incident Code

TS036

Incident date

December 31, 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 six and 11 civilians were killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on Al Bab, Syria.

LCCSY wrote: “11 martyrs in Aleppo most killed in Al-Bab city due to Turkish bombardment.”

Al Bab Al Hadath reported that all 11 people were killed in Al Bab: “11 killed and 28 wounded, the majority are children and women, due to Turkish warplanes shelling Al-Bab.”

An alleged ISIS propaganda Facebook page “Al Raed La Ykazeb Ahlahu”, posted a graphic video of seriously burnt children allegedly from the shelling by Turkish planes. 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Khawlah Abo Kisheh Adult female killed
  • Ibtihal Abo Kisheh Adult female killed
  • Sabah Abo Kisheh Child killed
  • Ahmad Abo Kisheh Child male killed
  • Unidentified Child Child killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 11
  • (3 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    28
  • 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
    6 – 11
  • (3 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    28
  • 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

TS086

Incident date

July 3, 2017

Location

كفرعنطون, Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, Afrin, Syria

Geolocation

36.506389, 37.039444 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Three civilians from the al-Yousef family (a mother and her two children) died, and another two civilains, and up to ten more non-combatants were wounded in an alleged Turkish artillery bombardment of Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, Afrin, according to local media.

Welat FM, citing Afrin hospital, named the fatalities.

All other sources blamed Turkey for the civilian harm. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on July 4th: “Turkey begins its war against Syrian Kurds by killing citizens of an Arab family in the northern countryside of Aleppo. A woman and two of her children died and eight others were wounded.”

Defend Afrin put the death toll at four civilians with 10 more wounded.

Aylina Kilic published testimony from 40-year-old Sabah Isa, who was reportedly wounded in the Turkish shelling. She said: “Was it a mortar or shell, I don’t know…They fired it and I was on the balcony. I told the children to come inside. They were firing at the garden and surroundings””.

A report by Sputnik quoted Rezan Hedo, a member of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council, who said: “Turkish artillery has shelled the villages of Kastel Cindo, Maryamayn, Jalbul and Shagura on the outskirts of Afrin. Two children and a woman died following the shelling in the village of Kafr Antun”.

Ali Ozkok added that 13 YPG fighters were also killed.

Multiple sources published images of casualties – including children – being treated in a medical facility. Graphic footage by Aylina Kilic appeared to show dead civilians.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (7)

  • Ghazaleh al-Yousef 40 years old female killed
  • Muawiya al-Yousef 13 years old male killed
  • Tabarak al-Yousef 10 years old male killed
  • Khansa al-Yousef 13 years old female injured
  • Randa al-Yousef 23 years old female injured
  • Fida Yousef 19 years old female injured
  • Ayya al-Yusuf 16 years old female injured
  • Sabah Isa 40 years old female injured
  • Ayah, the daughter of Fida Hikmat Yousef 12 years old female killed
  • Amira Yousef 12 years old killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 5
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–10
  • 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 (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (30) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Footage showing casualties and injured civilians following an alleged Turkish shelling of Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, July 3rd. (via AylinaKilic)
  • Map tweeted showing the location of the alleged Turkish airstrike on Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Ali Ozkok)
  • Fires in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Ali Ozkok)
  • Fires in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Ali Ozkok)
  • Fires in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Ali Ozkok)
  • Fires in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Ali Ozkok)
  • The exact moment an alleged Turkish airstrike hit Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Ali Ozkok)
  • An injured child recives medical treatment in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Pyd rojava)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A video interviewsing injued civilians in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Hevallo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Compilation of images documenting the alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Pyd rojava)
  • Footage showing civilians homes which were destroyed in the alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Erica)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A video of the aftermath of the alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Erica)
  • An injured child recives medical treatment in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via SOHR)
  • An injured child recives medical treatment in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via SOHR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An injured child recives medical treatment in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via SOHR)
  • An injured child recives medical treatment in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via SOHR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Either injured or deceased civilians in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via SOHR)
  • An injured child recives medical treatment in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via SOHR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Either an injured or deceased civilian in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Aylina Kilic)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Either an injured or deceased civilian in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Aylina Kilic)
  • An injured woman recives medical treatment in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Aylina Kilic)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Either an injured or deceased civilian in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike which targeted Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, 3rd July 2017. (via Al itihad press)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)
  • Destruction in Kafar Anton village, Shahaba, following an alleged Turkish airstrike. 3rd July 2017. NOTE it is not clear whether these images of rubble are fromt his specific incident or not, however the report they come from refers to this incident. (via Manbij.org)

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
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–10
  • 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 (20) [ collapse]