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

TS065 RS1865

Incident date

January 27, 2017

Location

جب مخزوم , Jeb Makhzoum, Aleppo , Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.431667, 37.744167 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Seven civilians from one family were reportedly killed in alleged Turkish or Russian airstrikes or artillery shelling on Jeb Makhzoum near Al Arima.

The Syrian Obseratory for Human Rights said it “learned that a man was killed along with his wife and five of their children who are under the age of eighteen. They were killed when warplanes bombed the outskirts of Al Arima, which is located about 20 km to the northeast of Al Bab city in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo. It is not known whether the warplanes were Russian or Turkish.”

Syria News Desk agreed on the casualty numbers and provided more information on the location of the strike: “Seven civilians from one family were killed and others injured this morning by Turkish artillery shelling of the village of Jeb Makhzoum under the control of the Islamic State Organization, located south of the town of Al Arima, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The media activist Anas al-Khatib, quoting a civilian source from Al Arima, told the Syrian News Agency that the Turkish artillery targeted the village with more than 11 shells, which fell on houses in the center of the village, killing a whole family consisting of the father and his wife and their five children. Others were taken to a hospital in the city of Ta’ad, in addition to the total destruction of two houses, partial destruction of two other houses and substantial damage to other property.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Jeb Makhzoum, Aleppo (جب مخزوم ), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.431667, 37.744167. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 children1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Russian Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 children1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Russian Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS064

Incident date

January 27, 2017

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

Eight people were reportedly injured as a result of an alleged Turkish artillery shelling on Al Bab.

Al Bab News and the ISIS-affiliated outlet Al A’amaq said that most of the wounded were women and children.

There are currently no further details available.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Bab (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.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • 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 (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
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS063 RS1864

Incident date

January 26, 2017

Location

مدينة الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

Between four and 10 civilians died, including two children and two women, and up to a another dozen were wounded in air and/or artillery strikes on Al Bab, local media reported. It was unclear who the culprit was – with allegations against Turkey and Russia. Moreover, one report added that regime helicopters were also active over Al Bab on this day.

RT quoted the Russian Ministry of Defense, who said there had been joint Russian and Turkish airstrikes on ISIS locations near the city of Al Bab. The report made no mention of civilian harm.

According to Al Jazeera, “at least ten people were killed and others wounded by Russian and Turkish air raids on the city of Bab and its environs. Turkish artillery also targeted the organization’s [ISIS’s] positions in Bab and Ta’ad (east of Aleppo). Eight civilians were wounded in a renewed Turkish artillery shelling on the city.

Al-Jazeera’s correspondent pointed out that the IS media agency A’maq broadcast pictures of what it said was heavy shelling by regime helicopters struck the south and south-west of the city, pointing out that the final statistics of the number of victims are still unknown.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights put the death toll at four (two children and two women), and attributed the civilian harm to Turkey.

Alquds alarabi  also blamed Turkey, putting the number killed at ten civilians including a child.

Al Raed La Ykazeb Ahlahu [IS propaganda] added that there were “seven dead and six wounded from one family following Turkish artillery shelling”.

Syria News Desk, also blaming Turkey, put the death toll at eight with 12 more wounded. It reported that “Turkish aerial and artillery bombardment targeted the city near the Osama bin Zayd mosque at the southern entrance of the city, which also led to the destruction of two houses completely. There was also damage to a number of residential buildings and shops and other property.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Bab, Aleppo (مدينة 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.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 10
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Military

Russia has not reported any specific strikes between January 1st – 31st 2017.

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 10
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Military, Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS459 TS062

Incident date

January 25, 2017

Location

تادف, Tadif, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.34857, 37.531501 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

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:

Family members (2)

Child female killed
Child male killed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Tadif (تادف), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.34857, 37.531501. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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
    US-led Coalition, Turkish Military

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of the air strike (via Al Bab 24)
  • Aftermath of the air strike (via Al Bab 24)
  • The names of the victims of the strike.
CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.

The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included 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 Taadif (Aleppo), Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCA6822823612
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 29, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 24th-25th 2017, the Coalition reported: “Near Manbij, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed three fighting positions, and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.”

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
  • (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
    US-led Coalition, 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

TS061

Incident date

January 25, 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

Between three and eight civilians including three women and up to two children died in alleged Turkish shelling on Al Bab, according to sources on the ground.

Alsharq Alarabi named three female civilians as killed in “shelling” on Al Bab, but didn’t identify the culprit.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “eight civilians were killed by the Turkish bombardment in al Bab and Tadef, including two women and two children, while others were wounded.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Fatima Nafos
Age unknown female named by Alsharq Alarabi killed
The wife of Khaled Mohammed Al-Sheikh
Adult named by Alsharq Alarabi killed
The daughter of Khalid Mohammed Sheikh
Child female named by Alsharq Alarabi killed

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.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (1 child1–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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]

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (1 child1–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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

TS060

Incident date

January 24, 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

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “a woman and her daughter and another civilian woman were killed in shelling by the Turkish forces and airstrikes on areas in al-Bab city”.

Al Bab 24 reported that “continuous artillery shelling targeted the city [of Al Bab] intermittently the whole day [Jan 24th]. One of the shells fell near Bilal mosque killed a woman from the Shaoukat family. The source didn’t identify the culprit.

AA News reported that both Russia and the US-led Coalition had carried out strikes on Al Bab – but made no mention of civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Woman from Shaoukat family
Adult female killed

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.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child1–2 women)
  • 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, Russian Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

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
    Not yet assessed

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child1–2 women)
  • 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, Russian Military

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS059

Incident date

January 23, 2017

Location

تل بطنان, Tal Btan, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.395556, 37.538889 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On January 25th, a single source, Al Bab24, reported: “Rescue teams managed to pull out the bodies of three people from al Othman family. Rasoul al Othman was identified. They were killed a few days ago in Tal Btan, Syria following Turkish artillery shelling.”

There are no other details at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Rasoul al Othman
Adult male killed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Tal Btan ( تل بطنان), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.395556, 37.538889. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

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

Turkish Military Assessment:

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

Summary

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