Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

TS605

Incident date

June 20, 2023

Location

قرية تل شعير, Tel Shaeir road, Al Hassakah, Syria

Airwars assessment

On Tuesday June 20th 2023, an alleged drone strike by Turkish armed forces hit a car in the village of Beyandur, east of the city of Qamishli, northeast Syria, killing three civilians, two Kurdish local officials and their driver, and injuring another local official.

Sources including SOHR, NPA and Reuters reported three civilians being killed by a drone attack in a car belonging to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), including Yusra Darwish, the co-chair of the Qamishli Region Council; Leyman Shoish, the Deputy Co-chair; and Farat Toma, their driver. As a result of the attack also Gabi Shamoun, the other Co-chair, was injured while they were all on their way to visiting AANES institutions.

SOHR, NPA and Reuters also reported that the attack took place on Tel Shaeir road, in the area between Al-Qamishly and Amudah cities in northern Al-Hasakah province in Syria’s Kurdish-run northeast. In addition, NPA reported a statement released by the Women’s Coordination of the AANES denouncing the drone attacks of the Turkish armed forces against civilians in the area under the alleged false-flag of protecting the national security of the region. Moreover, according to the statement, the attack is reported to “coincide with the AANES’s announcement of its intention to start the trial of leaders and militants of the Islamic State (ISIS)”, which Turkey allegedly wanted to prevent. Additionally, as reported by ABC (AP), on the same day of the attack, a two-day round of talks opened in the Kazakh capital, Astana, “aimed at resolving the broader conflict in Syria among officials from Russia, Iran, Türkiye and Syria.”

The suspected attacker is alleged to be Turkey, as reported by most of the sources including SOHR, NPA, Reuters and ABC (AP), although responsibility has been contested by Turkish authorities, as reported by Reuters, claiming their “intelligence agency had “neutralised” a senior figure in the Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Units, in the area of Tal Rifaat some 27 km northwest of Tal Shaeer. It named the figure as Ridvan Ulugana and said he had been active in operations targeting the Turkish military. It did not say that any civilians were killed, or mention Tal Shaeer.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Yusra Darwish
Age unknown female co-chair of the Qamishli Region Council killed
Leyman Shoish
Age unknown female Deputy Co-chair killed
Farat Toma
Age unknown male killed
Gabi Shamoun
Age unknown Co-chair, injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    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
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • Destruction to a car caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes on Tel Shaeir road on June 20, 2023. (Image posted by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
  • Yusra Darwish, the co-chair of the Qamishli Region Council; Leyman Shoish, the Deputy Co-chair; and Farat Toma, their driver killed by alleged Turkish drone strikes on Tel Shaeir road on June 20, 2023. (Image posted by North Press Agency)
  • Yusra Darwish, the co-chair of the Qamishli Region Council; Leyman Shoish, the Deputy Co-chair; and Farat Toma, their driver killed by alleged Turkish drone strikes on Tel Shaeir road on June 20, 2023. (Image posted by Hawar News)
  • Destruction to a car caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes on Tel Shaeir road on June 20, 2023. (Image posted by Hawar News)
  • Alleged Turkish drone strikes on Tel Shaeir road on June 20, 2023. (Image posted by Fakhereddin Abdi via Facebook)
  • Destruction to a car caused by alleged Turkish drone strikes on Tel Shaeir road on June 20, 2023. (Image posted by Fakhereddin Abdi via Facebook)

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
  • (2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    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
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (11) [ collapse]