Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

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

Geolocation accuracy

Village

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 1:15 am local time.

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 Armed Forces
  • 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)

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces 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 Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (16) [ collapse]