Turkish Military in Iraq & Syria

An internally displaced Kurdish family in northern Iraq, 2016 (Maranie R. Staab)

Belligerent
Turkish Military
Country
Syria
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

CS387 TS014

Incident date

November 22, 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 girls died in a reported Turkish or Coalition airstrike on the village of Sab Wayran near Aleppo, Syria.

Manbij Military Council (linked to the SDF) reported that “two sisters were martyred from the family of Ahmad al Rashid Beish Illo after Turkish occupation planes raided their home in the village of Sab Wayran.” It added that four people were injured.

The Syrian Network instead blamed the attack on the Coalition. However the Assad-controlled SANA news agency said the village had been captured by Turkey and its allies, following clashes with the Kurdish SDF.

In August 2017 the US-led Coalition denied involvement in the event, noting that “After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area of the reported civilian casualties.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Ahmad Saleh, injured in an alleged Coalition and Turkish airstrike on Sab Wayran, 22nd November 2016. (via Manbij Military council)
  • Khanum Shamlo injured in an alleged Coalition and Turkish airstrike on Sab Wayran, 22nd November 2016. (via Manbij Military council)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Sara al Ahmad injured in an alleged Coalition and Turkish airstrike on Sab Wayran, 22nd November 2016. (via Manbij Military council)
  • Photograph shows one of the two sisters, Shahad and Amina Ahmad Rashid Beish Illo, killed in an alleged Turkish and Coalition airstrike on Sab Wayran, 22nd November 2016. (via Manbij Military council)
  • Photograph shows one of the two sisters, Shahad and Amina Ahmad Rashid Beish Illo, killed in an alleged Turkish and Coalition airstrike on Sab Wayran, 22nd November 2016. (via Manbij Military council)
CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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 Sabwayran, 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 November 22nd-23rd 2016 the Coalition reported no strikes in Aleppo governorate.

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS013

Incident date

November 22, 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

Two civilians were reported killed and 17 more wounded in Turkish artillery shelling or takn fire on Al Bab.

The ISIS-affiliated media outlet Al A’amaq reported: “Two killed and 17 injured, including women and children following continuous Turkish artillery shelling on the neighbourhoods of al Bab north of Aleppo.“

Ajel_1 posted a carbon copy of the Al A’amaq text on Twitter, other than claiming that tanks were responsible for the casualties.

There are currently no other reports available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    17
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    17
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS012

Incident date

November 21, 2016

Location

قرية الغوز, Al Ghor, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.343056, 37.454444 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

According to the ISIS-affiliated media outlet al Amaq, five civilians were killed byTurkish artillery shelling on Al Ghor, a village west of Al Bab.

“Five people killed and ten injured following Turkish artillery bombing of the village of al Ghor west of al Bab in the Aleppo countryside,” the propaganda unit claimed.

There are currently no other known public sources relating to this incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (1) [ 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 Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military 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 Military

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 Military

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 Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military 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 Military

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 Military

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 Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military 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 Military

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS008

Incident date

November 13, 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

Various sources reported intense attacks by Turkish and FSA forces on Al Bab in a push to oust ISIS from the city.

The only source which reported civilian casualties was the ISIS-affiliated propaganda outlet Al A’amaq: “One dead and three civilians injured, one of them in a critical condition. following Turkish artillery bombardment of the city of Al Bab in the Aleppo countryside.”

Sky News reported: “Turkish tanks bombed the outskirts of the city of Al Bab in the countryside of eastern Aleppo as part of Operation Euphrates Shield. This comes at a time when the armed factions of the Free Syrian Army are storming the city of Al Bab, one of ISIS’ last strongholds.”

Almodon mentioned airstrikes in its news piece: “Turkish warplanes and artillery began hitting ISIS targets in the city, including factories and workshops for the manufacture of car bombs and landmines, which the organisation used extensively during its withdrawal from villages because of Euphrates Shield.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Compilation of photographs showing the destruction to local infrastructure and wounded civilians in the aftermath of the alleged Turkish airstrikes on Al Bab, 13th November 2016. (via LirTV)
  • A news bulletin titled "The Free Syrian Army is approaching the door [of the] stronghold of Daesh in the countryside of eastern Aleppo" (via Masr Alarabia)

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS007 CS371

Incident date

November 13, 2016

Location

مدينة 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

One or two civilians were reported killed and three injured in ‘Coalition’ strikes on Al Bab. However, other reports claimed that Turkey and its FSA allies may have been responsible.

Sky News reported that Turkish tanks were advancing on Al Bab, while France 24 described Turkish airstrikes on the city. Reporting casualties, Halab News said “an unidentified man and woman were killed, following coalition raids on al Bab and they are civilians from the town.”

All 4 Syria said that both the Coalition and Turkey conducted strikes on the city: “Extensive Turkish air strikes in Al Bab destroyed four buildings and a car used by IS while coalition carried out six airstrikes and killed ten IS fighters. However, Al Amaq reported the death of a civilian and three others wounded due to Turkish tank bombardment.”

ISIS’s media wing also reported civilian casualties, initially noting “one dead and three civilians injured – one of them in a critical condition – following Turkish artillery bombardment of the city of Al Bab in the Aleppo countryside.” It also reported US airstrikes alongside Turkish artillery attacks.

In August 2017 the US-led alliance denied responsibility for the event, stating: “After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area of the reported civilian casualties.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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 Al Bab, 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 November 12th-13th, the Coalition reported no strikes in Aleppo governorate.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]