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
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Infrastructure

Incident Code

TS535

Incident date

July 26, 2022

Location

قرية شيخ عيسى , Sheikh Issa village, Tal Rifaat, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.478306, 37.146936 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One civilian was killed and three to five civilians were injured as a result of an alleged Turkish attack on Sheikh Issa village, in Tal Rifaat, Aleppo, Syria on July 26th 2022.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that three women and a man were injured, whilst ANHA Arabic reported that six women were injured. According to the ANHA news correspondent, the names of those injured were Rawash Rasho, aged 50, Lamia Hassan, aged 41, Kawthar Mustafa, aged 17, Fawzia Rasho, aged, 20 years old, Sawsan Mustafa and Atriya Shobak, aged 20 and that all of them were transferred to the hospital for treatment.

On August 1, 2022, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that one of the women that was injured died from the injuries she sustained.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, over 50 rocket and artillery shells were fired, most which landed in this area, along with the flying of Turkish reconnaissance aircraft in the area.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Rawash Rasho
50 years old female injured
Lamia Hassan
41 years old female injured
Kawthar Mustafa
17 years old male injured
Fawzia Rasho
20 years old female injured
Sawsan Mustafa
Age unknown female injured
Atriya Shobak
20 years old female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–5
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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]

  • Between four and six civilians were injured in an alleged Turkish attack on Sheikh Issa village, Aleppo on July 26th 2022 (Image via ANHA Arabic / Facebook)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Sheikh Issa (قرية شيخ عيسى ), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.478306, 37.146936. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–5
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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

TS560

Incident date

October 12, 2022

Location

شيراوا, Sherawa district, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.466500, 36.887006 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Additional Geolocations

36.464198, 36.866351 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map 36.410735, 36.862676 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to three women, including a pregnant woman, were killed and children were injured in clashes between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Turkish forces-associated Levant Front in the Sherawa district of Afrin on October 12, 2022.

Hawar News reported that three women, including a pregnant woman, were killed and children were injured in the clashes, specifically artillery shelling and tanks, between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Levant Front in occupied Afrin. A local source told Hawar that the casualties occurred in the villages of Burj Abdalo, Karzila and Ain Dara in Sherawa district, and that the pregnant woman named Fatima Mahmoud al-Abed that was killed was from the village of Karzila.

Al Khabour posted on Facebook that one of the women was killed by artillery shelling by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham on the village of Burj Abdalo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also identified a woman as being killed by “indiscriminate bullets and shrapnel” but did not specify which village in Sherawa district.

A video posted by Ahmad M. Ahmad shows the moment a shell fell on the home of a civilian in the village of Karzila.

Source were conflicted as to whether the casualties were caused by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Levant Front, a Turkish proxy fighting force.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Fatima Mahmoud al-Abed
Adult female pregnant killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Rebel Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda/HTS

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims of clashes between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Levant Front in Afrin on October 12, 2022. (Image posted by Hawar News)
  • What is happening since this morning in the city of Afrin and its environs is fierce battles between the armed factions affiliated with Turkey. Artillery shelling targeting the vicinity of the city of Afrin at these moments. Violent clashes in the villages of Shirawa district, extending to the outskirts of Afrin. - Violent clashes inside the village of Karzila/Krzyhel in Shirawa district. -According to a call I had with my parents inside the Jindires district, the sounds of violent clashes are heard from the south of the district, and the clashes are concentrated in the villages of Deir Ballut and Muhammadiyah. The video below shows the moment a shell fell on the house of a civilian in the village of Karzila / Karzyhel. "We wish safety to our people in the city of Afrin and its villages"

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention strikes on the villages of Karzila (قرزيحل), Ayn Dara (عين دارة), and Burj Abdalo (برج عبد الله). The generic coordinates for Karzila are: 36.466500, 36.887006. The generic coordinates for Ayn Dara are: 36.464198, 36.866351. The generic coordinates for Burj Abdalo are: 36.410735, 36.862676. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the locations further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Rebel Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Rebel Forces
  • Rebel Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Rebel Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda/HTS

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS589

Incident date

March 4, 2023

Location

بغديك, Bagdik, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.735505, 38.659869 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least two civilians were injured by alleged Turkish shelling of Bagdik village in eastern countryside of Kobani on March 4, 2023.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that two civilians were injured and taken to the hospital after sustaining injuries from mortar fire launched by Turkish forces on Bagdik village.

Hawar News also reported that “civilians” were injured and provided the name of one of the civilians who was injured, and who was taken to Kobani Hospital to undergo surgery and was in critical condition at the time of reporting: Ahmed Asaad Hamza, 28 years old.

Hawar News included details that a number of people’s homes were destroyed in the village of Bagdik, and ARTA FM added that homes in the village of Kolteb were also destroyed.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the shelling to Turkish forces, with some referring to mortar shells as being used while ANF reported that howitzers carried out the attack.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Ahmed Asaad Hamza
28 years old male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Bagdik (بغديك), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.735505, 38.659869. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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

TS624

Incident date

August 23, 2023

Location

طريق علي فرو, Ali Faro Road, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

37.040713, 41.116864 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On the afternoon of August 23, 2023, a man was killed and at least one person, a female journalist, was injured in an alleged Turkish drone strike on the Qamishli-Amuda road in Northeast Syria.

The man, Najm al-Din Faisal, worked for woman-run channel JIN TV, and was driving fellow channel employees. Dalila Akid, a journalist, was wounded. After undergoing treatment, Hawar News confirmed that Akid has been released from being operated on and is now under intensive care.

ANF News claimed multiple people were in the car and Kurdistan TV has specified that several journalists were injured, but no further information has been released.

Hawar News wrote about Najm al-Din Faisal, the driver killed in the drone strikes: Najm was 46 years old, born on March 30, 1977 and came from the village of Al-Jawhariya in Amuda district. He had five brothers and three sisters, and he is the 3rd brother among them. Najm left school after his “primary” education to help his family by working in agriculture, and he was married at the age of 29 and had three daughters and one son named Vian, Beretan, Amara, Maashouq. During the Rojava revolution, Najm joined the theater within the Culture and Art Authority in Amuda district as a volunteer without pay and began working for Jin TV as a driver at the beginning of 2021, according to his sister Perwin Faisal.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights identified the location of the strikes as near Mazar Shaikh Jabr Village on Ali Faro Road. An eyewitness told Radio Arta that he saw residents of Tal Shair Sheikhan removing the victims from the car after it was struck.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Free Medium Union alleged that the car was struck in an attempt to silence independent journalists. The Media Department for AANES consequently released a statement condemning “the Turkish occupation and its Syrian mercenaries” for the attack. Kurdistan TV reported that JIN TV—“Woman” TV in Kurdish—has ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party, and suggests this may be why the vehicle was attacked.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

The victims were named as:

Najm al-Din Faisal نجم الدين فيصل
Age unknown male killed
Dalila Akid دليلة عكيد
Age unknown female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man1 journalist)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Vehicle struck by alleged Turkish drone strikes on August 23, 2023. (Image posted by ANF)
  • Vehicle struck by alleged Turkish drone strikes on August 23, 2023. (Image posted by ANF)
  • Vehicle struck by alleged Turkish drone strikes on August 23, 2023. (Image posted by Kurdistan TV)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle struck on the Ali Faro Road (طريق علي فرو), which runs between the towns of Qamishli (ٱلْقَامِشْلِي) and Amouda (عَامُودَا), in the vicinity of the village of Tal Shair (تل شعير). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the location down to the following exact coordinates: 37.040713, 41.116864.

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man1 journalist)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI101

Incident date

December 28, 2023

Location

قرية كاركي, Karki, Sinjar District, Mosul Province, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Between 6 and 8 PM on Thursday, December 28th, 2023, at least five people were killed and two others injured after an alleged Turkish drone strike on the village of Karki in the Sinjar district of Mosul province. The civilian status of five of the men killed is contested within the sources.

Those killed were young men, originally from northern and eastern Syria; information on the wounded was not made available. Roj News, in conjunction with the Democratic Autonomous Administration of Shingal District identified the deceased as follows: 21-year-old Ramadan al-Hammadi, originally from Raqqa; 24-year-old Shaheen Ali, from Kobani; 20-year-old Hussein al-Hussein, also from Raqqa; 23-year-old Ahmed al-Mohammed al-Ali, from Raqqa; and Raqqa-born Munir al-Bakour. al-Bakour’s age was not publicly declared.

There remains dispute regarding the circumstances of the strike. While the local administration in Sinjar reported those killed were working digging wells to provide water for the villages of Kora Samukiya, Al-Arbay News stated that the bombing was a deliberate strike targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Al-Araby claimed their source, members of Nineveh security, as saying the strike targeted “a group of Labor Party activists.” Al-Arbay also specified that the local Sinjar administration is “known for its association” with the PKK.

Haider Sheshu, a commander of local militia Ezidkhan Protection Units, stated that he was unsure “whether the dead were fighters or civilians.”

Roj News reported the belligerent bombed the area three consecutive times. All of the sources attributed the drone strikes to Turkish forces.

The incident occured between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Water station
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (0–5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–5

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Roj News
  • Source: Hawar News
  • Source: Hawar News
  • Source: Hawar News

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Water station
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (0–5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–5

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS163

Incident date

February 8, 2018

Location

كفر شيلا, Kafr Shila, Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.509722, 36.833611 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

According to several local media report, one woman and her two children were wounded in an alleged Turkish bombing of Kafr Shila, Syria.

Airwars researchers translated the video footage from Rumaf facebook post, which has now unfortunately been removed.

“Voice off camera asking woman: what kind of shelling was it? Was it artillery or plane?

Woman: it was artillery. We were sleeping at my brother’s house. We usually sleep there and then we go to our house in the morning and spend the day times there.   In the morning I was in our home and getting breakfast ready I went to the kitchen to get a cup and I was shot in my foot and then there was artillery shelling and fire arms they were just hitting us. We were all injured. We were all civilians, they hit the civilians not the military. There is no military there.

Off camera: you mean they’re deliberately hitting the civilians

Woman: yes they demolished the civilians’ homes. They demolished half the village. There are still people there under siege we’ve spoken to them they’re still shelling the houses. There is a cave people are taking shelter in because the village is still being hit because they know there are civilians they won’t’ let anyone come out alive.”

The another video of a young injured boy was also used to document the shelling of Ashka Gharbi village, Jandrissa, Afrin where as many as two civilians were injured. It is unclear to which incident it belongs. 

The incident occured at 23:00:00 local time.

The victims were named as:

35 years old female a displaced woman from Tallada injured
10 years old male wounded in Deir Balut, a displaced person from Tallaha injured
10 years old male wounded in Deir Balut, a displaced person from Tallaha injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • 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 (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A video reveals the child, being treated at the medical centre followed an alleged Turkish strike on Kafr Shila, 8th February 2018. (via: SDF Video)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Kafr Shila, Aleppo (كفر شيلا), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.509722, 36.833611. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • 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 (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS195

Incident date

February 13, 2018

Location

سعرنجكة٫شران , Sa'arnajka, Sharan district, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.6205222, 36.9417858 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were wounded in an alleged Turkish shelling of Sa’arnajka, according to the Kurdish Red Crescent.

The Smart News Agency also reported two wounded civilians but cited the Kurdish Red Crescent report.

Please note, some of the images from TS193 and TS194 are also reported for this incident. We are unable to determine which incident they belong to.

There are no other details at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • An injured civilian in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Sa'arnajka, Sharan district, Afrin, 13th February 2018. (via The Kurdish Red Crescent)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An injured civilian in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Sa'arnajka, Sharan district, Afrin, 13th February 2018. (via The Kurdish Red Crescent)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An injured civilian in the aftermath of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Sa'arnajka, Sharan district, Afrin, 13th February 2018. (via The Kurdish Red Crescent)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the subdistrict of Sa’arnajka, Sharan district, Afrin (سعرنجكة٫شران ), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.6205222, 36.9417858. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI008

Incident date

September 4, 2017

Location

نهيل , Nahil area of Al-Amadiya, Dahook, Iraq

Geolocation

37.092003, 43.486966 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A single source, Iraqi Spring Media, reported an alleged bombing by “the Turkish air force” of the Nahil area of the Al-Amadiyah district, north of Dohuk – though the source said that there was no information on civilian harm.

No further details are currently available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Nahil area of Al-Amadiya (نهيل ), for which the generic coordinates are: 37.092003, 43.486966. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

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

Sources (1) [ collapse]