Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

TS497

Incident date

April 1, 2022

Location

القحطانية, “M4” international highway, Al-Qahtaniyah town, Hassakah, Syria

Geolocation

37.003879, 41.536744 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Street level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One person was killed and two others were injured in alleged Turkish drone strikes on a car traveling on the “M4” international highway near Al-Qahtaniyah town on April 1, 2022. The combatant status of one of the people injured is contested due to his role in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), while the others killed and wounded were identified as members of the SDF.

Hawar News quoted the Syrian Democratic Forces, who “announced that a Turkish occupation drone targeted a car of the Self-Defense Forces, killing one person and injuring two, including the poet Farhad Mardi.” Syria TV reported his condition to be “serious, and he was immediately transferred to a military hospital in the city of Qamishli for treatment.”

The media center of the Syrian Democratic Forces issued a statement: “This afternoon, the occupation launched a drone attack targeting a vehicle belonging to the Self-Defense Forces.  As a result, our comrade Dirar Juma Hamza was martyred and two of our comrades were injured, including the well-known poet Farhad Mardi. The condition of our wounded comrades is good.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) described the location of the incident as occurring on the M4 international highway south of Al-Qahtaniyah town, adding that “the car was heading from Al-Tabqah city to Al-Qahtaniyah area to celebrate Assyrian day”.

SOHR also described the poet Farhad Mardi as someone who was “elected to be a member of “Self-Defence” to be a cheerleader for young men”, putting his combatant status into question. However, Syria TV reported that “Mardi is considered one of the first members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and he has dozens of songs and poems in support of the party, as well as anti-Turkey and Kurdish parties opposing the PKK”.

According to Syria TV, the vehicle that was hit by the drone strikes was a “a military transport vehicle (van) of the Hyundai H1 type” and that the people in the vehicle were an SDF member, who was killed, and two PKK cadres, who were injured.

All of the sources that reported on the incident blamed Turkish forces and specifically identified a drone as being involved in the attack.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • 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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Vehicle destroyed by alleged Turkish drone strikes on a vehicle south of Al-Qahtaniyah town on April 1, 2022. (Image posted by Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firate)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle struck on the M4 International Highway (الطريق الدولي (M4)) in the vicinity of Al Qahtaniyah (القحطانية) and Tal Barham (تل برهم). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the highway are: 37.003879, 41.536744.

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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
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • 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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]