Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

TI052

Incident date

December 7, 2020

Location

رشاوه, Vicinity of Reshava, Dohuk, Iraq

Geolocation

37.09909, 43.64744 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on the town of Deraluk, Dohuk governorate, on December 7th, 2020, according to local sources. The bodies of the three men were found on December 12th.

On December 12th, Roj News reported: “On December 7th, three civilians from the Derelok district of Amed were bombed by Turkish planes while they were on their fields in the village of Zêwê. No news had been received from them since that day. The bodies of all three citizens were found today.”

Rudaw reported that the relatives Muhsin Speri (64), Hassan Sadiq (56) and Safar Sini (54) from the Nêrwehi tribe went camping on Mount Matin when their families lost contact with the men. According to the source, all three men were retired Peshmerga from Deraluk’s Amedi sub-district.

Sleman Speri, Muhsin’s brother, told Rudaw: “When he didn’t call after four days, we knew something was wrong… A few days ago we got news that Turkey had bombed the mountain.” The family then set out to search for the missing men.

Rudaw posted a video of the retrieving of the bodies of the victims. Arsala Mohammed, a relative of the victims, stated: “When we found the bodies, all three were badly mutilated. It was very, very bad. It was hard for us to come back here. The path was rocky and narrow. It took us half an hour to get the bodies down from the mountain.

The Turkish Ministry of Defence did confirm to have “neutralised” five PKK members in airstrikes on Gara Mountain, west of Deraluk, around the same time that the three men were killed, reported Rudaw.

Duhok province governor Ali Tatar responded to the incident, telling Kurdistan24: “Unfortunately, the PKK presence inside Kurdistan Region’s territories and the armed clashes with the Turkish army has become a cause of great destruction for the people living in those areas. (..) When people are trying to visit their lands and homes, you see them killed and injured by airstrikes, and these acts are inhumane.”

Adam Gnych, who reported on the incident, provided Airwars with excerpts from an interview with Baxtiyar Speri, Muhsin Speri’s son: “It was December 2nd, my father went to the mountains to look for wild bees, which he does seasonally to buy bread for the family. The economic crisis and corona have made it very hard for our family, so he had to go more often. He left on December 2nd, we found his corpse on December 12. For eight days no one informed us about what happened to them.”

Baxtiyar talked about finding the mens’ bodies: “When we found the bodies, Hassan and Safar were both close to where the rocket hit it, and my father was about 50 to 100 meters away from them. It was clear that he had been injured and had crawled in order to look for help…. They were hit by drones, and the rocket was mostly shrapnel… Safar’s body was cut to half, and Hassan lost a leg and an arm, but my father’s body was intact”.

According to the victims son the incident happened “far from the closest road, around three to four hours walking distance.”

Baxtyar said “This area has turned into to a military zone, we are losing our loved ones in the crossfire. We have to sneak into our own lands because the PKK doesn’t let us even light a fire, and the Turkish planes are dropping bombs every day…It doesn’t matter how much we cry for the Kurdish government, and even the government in Baghdad wouldn’t be able to do anything. Even the Turks can’t control the area and the PKK is using the Doski, Rekan and Nerwayi lands as they wish. Our lands would never be free from bloodshed.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • Baxtyar Speri greets mourners on the second day of his father’s funeral in the town of Deraluk, December 2020. Muhsin Speri, 64 was killed alongside Hassan Sadiq and Safar Sini whilst the men were on a foraging trip north of the town. (Image courtesy of The Guardian)
  • Muhsin Haci, Sefer Selim and Hesen Sadiq were killed in alleged Turkish strikes on Deraluk, Iraqi Kurdistan, on December 7th, 2020 (via Roj News).
  • Civilians at the site in the aftermath of alleged Turkish airstrikes on the town of Deraluk, Iraqi Kurdistan, on December 7th, 2020 (via @BaxtiyarGoran).
  • The aftermath of alleged Turkish airstrikes on the town of Deraluk, Iraqi Kurdistan, on December 7th, 2020 (via @BaxtiyarGoran).
  • Sefer Selim (54) was killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on Deraluk on December 7th, 2020 (via @DefteraRes).
  • Hasan Sadiq (56) was killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on Deraluk on December 7th, 2020 (via @DefteraRes).
  • Muhsin Haci (64) was killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on Deraluk on December 7th, 2020 (via @DefteraRes).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the valley in the vicinity of Reshava (رشاوه) village. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Reshava are: 37.09909, 43.64744.

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
    3
  • (3 men)
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (11) [ collapse]