Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

TI078

Incident date

May 21, 2022

Location

اأغجلر, Aghjalar, Sulaimani, Iraq

Geolocation

35.817025, 44.698458 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Street level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least two civilians were killed and at least one other civilian was injured in alleged Turkish drone strikes on the road near the village of Tutaqal in Aghjalar on May 21, 2022.

Rudaw News reported that two alleged Turkish drones struck a vehicle traveling in the subdistrict of Aghjalar killing five passengers, including at least two members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Rudaw News quoted the mayor of Aghjalar, Hemin Bahjat, who said “targeted a PKK base and a Toyota Hilux vehicle which carried four passengers who were all killed. According to initial reports, two of the passengers were locals while two others were PKK fighters.” The mayor later added that another person was killed in the attack and that “we could not confirm that there were PKK fighters inside the car, because all the five persons were burnt up”.

Various sources specifically identified the incident as occurring in Tutaqal village, Kurdistan24 adding that it is located “at the foothills of Khal Khalan”. Rudaw News also quoted a resident of Tutaqal village, Halo Zahir, who told Rudaw’s Rawchi Hassan that the vehicle belonged to the PKK. Images posted by Rudaw News show extensive damage to the pickup truck allegedly hit by Turkish drone strikes.

A citizen of the village of Tutaqal told Rudaw News that one of the people killed was named Aram Kaka Khan, who was from the people of Tutaqal, and the second citizen was called Ismael, who was from the village of (Jalamrda) in the borders of Ağcılar district.”

Segirt News reported that the civilians were killed when the came to provide assistance to the PKK fighters who were wounded in the initial bombing, and then all five were killed in the subsequent bombing.

A tweet from @cptiraq laid out the series of events that occurred: “On May 21st , the Turkish war planes bombed Tutaqal village of Aghjalar town at 5:15 a.m. At 9:00 a.m, the mukhtar of Tutaqal, Aram Haji Kaka Khan, and his brother-in-law Ismaeil Ibrahim, went to the area that was bombed earlier that morning. They found three injured PKK guerilla members at the bombing site. Aram tried to drive the injured people to the Aghjalar hospital. But the Turkish drones bombed his vehicle at 9:35 a.m., killing him, his brother-in-law, and the three guerilla members.”

Adil Majeed, relative of the victims, told The New Arab “Early today the Turkish drones were initially targeting some PKK fighters who were based in a rural jungle from Tutaqal village, then the drones were observing all cars in the area. It seems some of the PKK fighters were wounded and they sought help from civilian cars in a nearby road, consequently the drones attacked the pick-up car, and killed two of my cousins who were from working as farmers.” Majeed added that his two cousins were survivors of the 1988 Anfal genocide.

Head of Aghjalar district administration, Hemin Bahjat, told BasNews that “initial reports indicate that at least three of the killed were members of the PKK” and that there were “unconfirmed reports of destruction of a PKK military base near Dutaqal village of Aghjalar, in the vicinity of Chamchamal.” ANF quoted Roj News Agency, which reported that a civilian car was struck on the road between the villages of Tutaqal and Galmurd, resulting in the death of five civilians and another wounded.

A security source in Chamchamal confirmed to Hawar News that the bombing of the village led to the death of “5 citizens and the injury of another”. The source added that the bodies had been transferred to forensic medicine and their identifies had not been identified yet. Segirt quoted a forensic source in Chamchamal who told AFP “two bodies from the people of the Chamchamal area arrived at the city hospital, and then were transferred to the forensic medicine office in Sulaymaniyah.”

According to Rudaw, the official Turkish state news agency Anadolu Agency reported that one of the people killed was a HPG commander named Mehmet Dooganan, also known as ‘Dilxaz Gabar’.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the drone strikes to Turkey. Kurdistan24 quoted a local sources that said that “Turkish drones are still flying over the area, which has also prevented Kurdish security forces from entering the area.”

The incident occured at approximately 9:00 am local time.

  • Aram Kaka Khan Age unknown male killed
  • Ismaeil Ibrahim Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • Map showing the location where the drone strikes occurred, published by Rudaw News
  • Destruction to a pickup truck caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes in Aghjalar on May 21, 2022. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • Destruction to a pickup truck caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes in Aghjalar on May 21, 2022. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • Destruction to a pickup truck caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes in Aghjalar on May 21, 2022. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • Destruction to a pickup truck caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes in Aghjalar on May 21, 2022. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • Destruction to a pickup truck caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes in Aghjalar on May 21, 2022. (Image posted by Rudaw News)
  • Smoke from the car struck by a drone in Aghjalar on May 21, 2022. (Image posted by Kurdistan24)
  • Two of the victims killed in alleged Turkish drone strikes on Chamchamal on May 21, 2022. (Image posted by @RebwarAhmad88)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle struck on the road between the villages of Tutaqal (توتاقلي) and Galmurd (جلمورد). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the Tutaqal-Galmurd road are: 35.817025, 44.698458.

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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
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (18) [ collapse]