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

TS102

Incident date

January 21, 2018

Location

شيا عفرين, Shya, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.496944, 36.598333 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A number of civilians were killed in an alleged Turkish aerial bombardement of Shya and its surrounding areas. The Kurdish Red Crescent reported a number of civilians killed and injured in the vicinity of Shya in Afrin canton.

A report by Aldiwan said that Turkish airstrikes resulted in “much destruction and many civilians killed in Shih and Shura”.

Rok and Hawar News reported Turkish strikes in the area but made no mention of civilian casualties.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Ez Alden Amer
8 years old male named in a report shared with Airwars killed
Amara Ali
20 years old female named in a report shared with Airwars killed
Rashed AlNsan
40 years old male named in a report shared with Airwars killed
Feyroz Omar
Age unknown named in a report shared with Airwars injured
Kajin Shekh Muhammad
Age unknown named in a report shared with Airwars injured
Zeynab Hemklino
40 years old female named in a report shared with Airwars injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Shya (شيا عفرين), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.496944, 36.598333. 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
    3
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS062

Incident date

January 25, 2017

Location

تادف, Tadef, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Two named children died in either Turkish or Coalition airstrikes on Tadef.
According to the Syrian Network “The children So’ad and Jonaid Fares Al Ali died after International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on Tadef town in Aleppo governorate eastern suburbs.”

However according to al Bab News, “Turkish planes launched three raids at dawn today killing two from the family of Faress al Ali who is from the rescue teams in al Bab. His daughter Souad al Ali, 15 years old and his son Juneid Al Ali, 9 years old and he [the father] was injured. Several buildings were totally destroyed.”

Al Bab 24 noted on the same day “a violent air and artillery bombardment from the Russian and Nusairi [sectarian term refering to Alawites] and Turkish [armies] in coordination targeting al Bab, Tadef, Baza’a and several village nearby al Bab hit with no casualties recorded thank God.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also blamed Turkey, but put the death count at three, reporting that “three from the same family including a woman with her grand daughter and son died in the town of Tadif near al-Bab city”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Souad Al Ali
15 years old male
Juneid Al Ali
9 years old

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS177

Incident date

February 9, 2018

Location

شيخ حديد, Sheikh Hadid, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.496944, 36.598333 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the occurrence of civilian casualties as a result of the Turkish artillery shelling targeting areas in the Sheikh Hadid area in the western countryside of Afrin. The Observatory later put the number killed in Sheikh Hadid at three.

No further details are currently available.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Sheikh Hadid, Afrin (شيخ حديد), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.496944, 36.598333. 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
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS273

Incident date

March 14, 2018

Location

نبل, Nubl town, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.379722, 36.989167 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

According to local media, three civilians were killed followed an alleged Turkish airstrike on Nubl town.

According to Enabbaladi, the Syrian regime’s media published a statement saying that Turkish planes’ targeted allied positions in Nabal and Zahra, which resulted in a number of civilian martyrs.

An image published shows the casualties to be young men.

Only one other source reported that civilians had been killed. Endi Zentarmi said: “After bombing a checkpoint in the Ziyarah area and killing eight pro-regime fighters, Turk jets have now also bombed the regime-controlled town of Nubl (south-east of Afrin city), killing at least three civilians. The airstrikes are deemed deliberate.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (0–3 men)
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • A picture shows the aftermath of the alleged Turkish airstrike, which targeted a checkpoint in the Ziyarah area which led the killing of three civilians (source: Qawem online)
  • A picture shows the checkpoint site destruction followed an alleged Turkish airstrike. Local sources claimed the death of three civilians and 8 combatants (source: Qawem online)
  • A picture shows the aftermath of the alleged Turkish airstrike, which targeted a checkpoint in the Ziyarah area which led the killing of three civilians (source: Qawem online)
  • Three of the victims of the alleged Turkish airstrike on Nubla, 14th March 2018. (via Sy7Syria)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Nubl town, Afrin (نبل), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.379722, 36.989167. 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
    3
  • (0–3 men)
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS044

Incident date

January 9, 2017

Location

بزاعة , Baza’a town, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.3829071, 37.56666 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between two and three civilians including a child and a woman died and 12 others were wounded in an alleged Turkish shelling of Baza’a town in the eastern Aleppo countryside, Syria, sources on the ground reported.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, “two civilians (a child and a woman) died in a Der’ Al Furat- supported by Turkish forces artillery shelling of Baza’a town in Aleppo governorate eastern suburbs, January 9, 2017.”

The IS propaganda source, Al Raed La Ykazeb Ahlahu, also said that a child and a woman died in Turkish shelling.

A ‘martyrs list’ published by jabal-aqel-albab.tk said that there were “three martyrs from Baza’a including a woman and a child and more than 12 wounded.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Heavy shelling by the Turkish artillery on the neighborhoods of the city of # Bab and town # Bzaa continued for three days and targeted the concentration of forces # Dahed inside #Aleppo

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Baza’a town ( بزاعة ), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.3829071, 37.56666. 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
    2 – 3
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI012

Incident date

March 22, 2018

Location

Villages in Choman district, Erbil, Iraq

Geolocation

36.637318, 44.890048 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Four civilians died and 10 more were injured in alleged Turkish airstrikes on villages in the Choman area of Iraqi Kurdistan, local sources reported. According to IC Afrin Resistance, the “Turkish army’s attacks and #TurkishWarCrimes are spreading: Yesterday night at 1:05 am Turkish air-forces bombarded villages in the district Qesre of Erbil (South #Kurdistan / Iraq). 4 civilians were killed due to the air-strikes.”

Hana Comani put the death toll at four with 10 more wounded. While most sources state that all four who died in the strike were civilians, a report by PDK-S detailed that the young men who perished were “Three Peshmerga and one lawyer”.

ANA reported: “Turkish military aircraft launched at 01:00 in the middle of last night raids on the villages of “Wassan, Sargan, and Mawa” near the town of Qusra in the district of Juman in the province of Holler. According to information received from the area, four civilians were killed during a ceremony in Nowruz.”

Additionally, a report by TRT said that “nine terrorists who were ready to attack a military base were eliminated in the ongoing airstrikes against PKK terrorist camps in northern Iraq.” It is unclear whether this is the same raid though the date and location match.

On April 27, 2020, the Christian Peacemaker Teams Iraqi Kurdistan (CPTIK) published an article interviewing the family members of four victims who were killed in the alleged Turkish strikes on the village of Sarkan. The victims were identified as Bezhan Mustafa, Mohammad Ismail, Darbaz Mohammad and Sherko Mahmud, all aged between 20 and 30 years old. According to CPTIK, two of the victims were cousins. Two of them graduated from law college and the other two were Peshmerga.

The men went to their summer house, where they, according to neighbours, “made a fire, grilled meat on the hot coals, and sang joyous songs”. The strike on Sarkan reportedly occured around 1:15 AM. A village elder told CPTIK: “When I arrived, I saw pieces of their burned bodies spread around, mixed with shreds of blankets and fragments of the house. I could not even recognize the bodies. I then collected the remnants and put them in the back of the pickup truck.”

Bezhan’s father told CPTIK that the men “were in no way connected to the PKK”.

The incident occured at 01:15:00 local time.

The victims were named as:

20 years old male killed
Adult male killed
Adult male killed
Adult male killed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • A victim of Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via Haval sedo)
  • A victim of Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via Haval sedo)
  • A victim of Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via PDK)
  • A victim of Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via PDK)
  • A victim of Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via PDK)
  • A victim of Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via PDK)
  • Victims of the Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via Kamal Chomani)
  • Victims of the Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via Kamal Chomani)
  • Victims of the Turkish airstrikes on villages in Choman area, east of Irbil, 22nd March 2018. (via Turkey Untold)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Villages in Choman district, for which the generic coordinates are: 36.637318, 44.890048. 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 type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS055

Incident date

January 19, 2017

Location

الباب , Al Bab city, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Four civilians died in an alleged Turkish artillery bombardment in Al Bab, according to local media.

According to Aleppo 24: “two members of the civil defence were killed and a number more wounded as a result of the Turkish aviation targeting Al Bab  on Thursday [Jan 19th]. The members of the civil defence died as they came to the aid of victims of a previous bombing”.

There are no other details at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Abd al Karim Khalil Al Sheikh Saleh
Adult male Halab News named four civilians killed by "Turkish artillery" in Al Bab killed
Mohammad Subhi al Othman
Adult male Halab News named four civilians killed by "Turkish artillery" in Al Bab killed
Karmo al Haj Karmo
Adult male Halab News named four civilians killed by "Turkish artillery" in Al Bab killed
Ali al Hanan al Karmo
Adult male Halab News named four civilians killed by "Turkish artillery" in Al Bab killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (4 men)
  • 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]

  • Heavy bombardment of Turkish artillery and warplanes on the city of # Bab and the town of Qbasin in the countryside of Aleppo. (via halhos1)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Bab city (الباب ), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.371972, 37.51631. 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
    4
  • (4 men)
  • 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

TI020

Incident date

December 13, 2018

Location

مخمور, Makhmour refugee camp, Erbil, Iraq

Geolocation

35.761235, 43.604991 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Four women were killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on the Rustam Jodi refugee camp in Makhmour, south of Erbil on December 13th 2018, according to local media reports.

Rustom Joudi, the governor of Rastam Jodi camp, said that the Turkish shelling, which took place at 21:00 on Thursday, killed four women, three of them from one family, and were shelled while they went to their campsites.

The Turkish Army Chief of Staff announced that its warplanes bombed the positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sinjar and Mount Qora Gokh, in the district of Makhmour. The presidency added that “The Turkish army destroyed the shelters, caches, tunnels and warehouses of the Workers Party in an air operation on the organization’s sites in Sinjar and Mount Qara Gokh.”

According to Shaffaq News “Prior to the funeral ceremony, hundreds of people had gone to the UN headquarters to push them to take a serious and concrete stance on Turkish bombing.”

No other details are known at this time.

The incident occured at 21:00:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (4 women)
  • 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]

  • Funeral of the victims of an alleged Turkish airstrike on Makhmour, 22nd December 2018. (via Shafaaq)

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (4 women)
  • 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]