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

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. 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.”

In their May 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 8
  • (5 children3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • 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 (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
    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
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCA451452
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2020
  • Oct. 2, 2016, in Dabiq, Syria via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3059/CS325 37SCA451452

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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 8
  • (5 children3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • 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 (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. 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.

In their May 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

Family members (1)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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]

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
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDA103607
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2020
  • Aug. 28, 2016, in Jeb el Kussa, Syria via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3033/CS300 37SDA103607

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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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

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. 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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 24
  • (4 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • 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 (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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 24
  • (4 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • 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 (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. 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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ 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
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS001

Incident date

March 14, 2016

Location

جكة, Jakka, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.607222, 37.295833 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A single source, the Daesh-linked propaganda outlet Al A’amaq Media, reported an alleged ‘friendly fire’ event in the village of al Jakka: “An American plane carries out a raid by mistake on a position for the armed opposition on the outskirts of the village of Jakka in the northern Aleppo countryside, leading to deaths in their ranks.”

Earlier in the day Al A’amaq had reported a major assault on the Daesh-held location, claiming that “American planes and Turkish artillery are bombing the village of Jakka in the northern Aleppo countryside, while Syrian opposition forces try to storm it.”

No civilian casualties were reported in this instance.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI004

Incident date

February 4, 2016

Location

قرية الفاضلية, Fadhiliya, Kurdistan, Iraq

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were reportedly killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on Fadhiliya.

According to the Iraqi National News Agency, “the bombardment of Fadhiliya village at the foot of Mount Bachik, resulted in the deaths of three civilians and the wounding of two others.”

There is currently no other known source available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI003

Incident date

September 11, 2015

Location

قنديل, اقشين, الزاب, Qandil, Avashin and Zap, Kurdistan, Iraq

Geolocation

36.632443, 44.189773 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Turkish air forces bombed positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the army said in a statement.

Airstrikes hit mountainous areas in northern Iraq, including Qandil, Avashin and Zap.

Turkish authorities said their strikes hit locations of the PKK rebels. However, Kurdish sources in northern Iraq reported via a single source that the attacks also caused civilian casualties.

There is currently no more information available on exact casualty numbers.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ 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]