Research

Research

Published

May 2024

Written by

Anna Zahn, Emily Tripp, Joe Dyke, Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen and Rowena De Silva

The US has declared that its military actions in 2022 resulted in no civilians killed or injured, the first such release since a landmark policy intended to overhaul American practices and approaches to civilian harm across the globe.

▲ US military actions in 2022 involved an increase in support for partner forces, often including airdrops (Photo: U.S. Army)

Published

April 18, 2024

Written by

Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen

Header Image

Photo by Ahmad Al-Basha/Agence France-Presse, taken from Flickr under Creative Commons

In November 2023, Airwars and Article 36 co-convened a workshop to explore military perspectives on the opportunities and challenges arising in the implementation of the Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences Arising from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas.

In the workshop report, we summarise the discussions held and challenges identified during the two-day workshop. We draw on these lessons, and our wider work on EWIPA, to make recommendations to states and militaries working to implement the declaration, and civil society organisations focused on supporting this process.

The workshop focused on exploring operational policies and practice regarding the use of explosive weapons during military operations in populated areas, with reference to the Declaration. Using a scenario-based approach, the workshop aimed to identify, and raise awareness of, changes to policies and practices that are necessary for the effective implementation of the operational provisions of the Declaration, ahead of the first official follow-up meeting of states and civil society which will be held in Oslo next week.

Participants in the workshop included active and retired members of national armed forces and defence ministry officials from 8 Western states, as well as participants from NATO, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and civil society organisations.

Key findings 

A summary of the key recommendations and good practices outlined during the workshop are summarised below:

    Efforts to disseminate and promote engagement with the Declaration at the national level are required within relevant ministries and departments as well as the armed forces. A process of policy review, revision and development by signatory states is an essential element of the implementation process. To promote and implement the Declaration, it is vital to include both leaders at the strategic/political level as well as commanders at the operational level. Commanders have a key role to play in ensuring civilian harm is mitigated, particularly from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The Declaration’s central commitment points towards national-level policies and doctrines as the framework through which it should be implemented. Weapon selection, including a proper understanding of the technical effects of different weapons and how those effects will be influenced by the built environment, is critical to mitigating civilian harm from explosive weapons. States should critically review their approaches to and capacity for undertaking civilian harm tracking in line with established good practice.

The full workshop report can be found here.

▲ Photo by Ahmad Al-Basha/Agence France-Presse, taken from Flickr under Creative Commons

Published

March 27, 2024

One of ten winners from nearly 600 entries for prestigious journalism prize

Airwars has won a Sigma award recognising excellence in data journalism, while the organisation’s investigative work has also been nominated three times at the forthcoming Amnesty Media Awards.

The article, titled The Year of the Shahed, was one of ten winners selected by Sigma from a total of 591 submissions by more than 300 news organisations.

The investigation involved gathering all open-source allegations of Russia’s use of the Iranian-made Shahed drone to attack Ukrainian civilians, as well as researching the European links to the specific component parts found in them. It was produced in collaboration with the German newspaper Der Spiegel after a grant by Investigative Journalism for Europe.

A still image from the article

Commenting on the article, the Sigma prize committee said: “The increasing digitisation, mechanisation, and automatisation of warfare is a worrying trend that will likely accelerate in years to come. This story about affordable but highly effective Iranian drones (actually, pseudo-missiles) used by Russia in Ukraine is a good example of what investigative and data journalism can do to warn readers about such trends.”

“The piece combines in-depth data analysis of attack patterns, first-person accounts of their consequences, and plenty of context of both the history of this weaponry and of the way it’s operated. The story weaves the narrative with photographic and audio evidence, along with a simple but effective series of data visualizations, scrollytelling sequences, and well-executed vector 3D renderings of the drones. In summary, it’s a rich multimedia experience.”

The article was written by Sanjana Varghese, Nikolaj Houmann Mortensen, Iryna Chupryna and Rowena De Silva of Airwars, as well as Oliver Imhof and Alexander Epp of Der Spiegel. It was designed visually by Airwars’ Júlia Nueno and Azul De Monte.

Among the other projects recognised by the judges were international news organisations including the Financial Times and Bloomberg, as well as local news organisations in Nigeria, Bangladesh and elsewhere.

The full award ceremony can be viewed below and Nikolaj Houmann Mortensen will discuss the article at a panel discussion during the International Journalism Festival 2024 in Perugia, Italy on April 20, 2024.

Separately, Airwars received three nominations for the forthcoming Amnesty Media Awards. The awards celebrate vital stories related to issues of human rights, with the winners to be announced on on May 9th, 2024.

Airwars was the smallest organisation to have been nominated, with almost all other candidates major international news organisations. Only the BBC and The Guardian received more than three nominations.

Airwars and The Guardian were nominated in two categories for a joint investigation into the hidden civilian toll of British airstrikes in Iraq and Syria during the campaign against the so-called Islamic State. The two-year investigation combined months of document analysis to identify likely UK strikes, with reporting from the ground in Mosul speaking to victims.

The longform reportage from Iraq, written by Emma Graham-Harrison of The Guardian and Airwars’ Joe Dyke, was nominated for Best Written Feature, while the Airwars immersive article was nominated in the digital creativity section. The entire investigation has also been nominated in the Outstanding Investigative Reporting category at the forthcoming Fetisov Awards.

Separately Airwars’ Sanjana Varghese was among four nominees in the The Gaby Rado Award for New Journalist category for her work leading the Shahed investigation.

Incident date

February 3, 2024

Incident Code

CS1997

LOCATION

البلعوم, Al Bal’oum in Al Mayadeen, Deir Ezzor, Syria

On February 3rd, 2024, one woman was reported injured while she was at home following a series of US strikes conducted on Al-Baloum neighborhood, in al-Mayadeen city, east of Deir Ezzor, in areas reportedly controlled by Iranian militias. The attacks were carried out at around midnight/at dawn, according to local reporting. Sources also reported a

Summary

First published
February 3, 2024
Last updated
February 7, 2024
Strike status
Declared strike
Strike type
Airstrike
Civilian infrastructure
Agriculture
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
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.
Known belligerent
US Forces
Known targets
Hezbollah, Iranian military
Belligerents reported killed
2–19
Belligerents reported injured
8–19
View Incident

Incident date

January 24, 2024

Incident Code

TS683

LOCATION

قرية قرموغ, Qarmogh (Qarmug) village east of Kobani, Aleppo, Syria

On Wednesday, January 24th, 2024, a child and a 24-year-old farmer named Marouf Khalil Muhammad were injured due to an alleged artillery attack by the Turkish military. Reportedly, the farmer was injured in his leg and/or foot while he was working on his land in the village of Qarmug (Qarmogh), east of the city of

Summary

First published
January 24, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian infrastructure
Agriculture
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
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.
Impact
Food
Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
Suspected belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
View Incident

Incident date

January 17, 2024

Incident Code

TS681

LOCATION

قرية شعالة, Sha’ale ( Shaala) village, Al-Shahba District, Aleppo, Syria

In the afternoon of Wednesday, January 17th, 2024, an alleged Turkish artillery strike on the Shaala (Sha’ale) village in Al-Shahba District in Aleppo’s northern countryside, Syria, injured three civilians, among them a woman and a child. Multiple sources, including Afrin News, Fox Press, SOHR, and others, reported that the artillery bombardment attributed to the Turkish

Summary

First published
January 17, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian infrastructure
Residential building
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
3
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
3 named, 1 familiy identified
View Incident

Incident date

January 17, 2024

Incident Code

TS682

LOCATION

قرية سد الشهباء, Sad Al-Shahba, Tal Rifaat, Aleppo, Syria

On Wednesday, January 17th, 2024, a civilian was injured due to an artillery shelling reportedly perpetrated by Turkish forces in the Sad al-Shahba village, near Tal Rifaat city, north of Aleppo, Syria. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the civilian was taken to the hospital to receive treatment. SOHR also reported that Turkish

Summary

First published
January 17, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
View Incident

Incident date

January 15, 2024

Incident Code

TS680

LOCATION

محطة كهرباء الدرباسية, Dirbasiye Power Station (Al-Darbasiyah) in the Hassakah countryside, Al Hassakah, Syria

On the morning of Monday, January 15th, 2024, two civilian men were moderately injured as a result of an alleged drone strike launched by the Turkish military on the Dirbasiye Power Station (alternatively spelled as Al-Darbasiyah), in the Hassakah countryside, Syria, which also resulted in the outage of the two transformers of the station. SANA

Summary

First published
January 15, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian infrastructure
Power Station
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
2 named
View Incident

Incident date

January 14, 2024

Incident Code

TS679

LOCATION

قرية سنجق خليل, Sanjak Khalil village in the district of Amouda, Al Hassakah, Syria

On Sunday, January 14th, 2024, two workers of the Abdullah Derbas (Al-Khairat) mill in the village of Sanjak Khalil in the district of Amouda (Amoda) on the road to the city of Hassakah in northeastern Syria were injured in a drone strike allegedly perpetrated by the Turkish military. Orkes FM posted the images of the

Summary

First published
January 14, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian infrastructure
Agriculture
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
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.
Impact
Food
Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
Suspected belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
2 named
View Incident

Incident date

January 10, 2024

Incident Code

TS677

LOCATION

قرية الكاوكلي, Kawekli (Al-Kauakli) village, Manbij countryside, Aleppo, Syria

On Wednesday, January 10th, 2024, a woman was reportedly injured by alleged Turkish artillery shelling on the village of Kawekli (Al-Kauakli), in the western countryside of Manbij in the province of Aleppo, Syria. Several sources said the woman was in her house when the strike occurred, but further details about her identity were not reported

Summary

First published
January 10, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian infrastructure
Residential building
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
View Incident

Incident date

January 10, 2024

Incident Code

TS678

LOCATION

قرية كربطلي, Karbatli village, south of Ad-Darbasiyah, Al Hassakah, Syria

On the morning of Sunday, 14th January 2024, an alleged aerial bombardment by a Turkish drone hit a residential house in the village of Karbatli, south of Ad-Darbasiyah in the Hassakah countryside, Syria. These attacks resulted in the injury of two small children and their mother. Facebook posts by ANHA news and Shiyar H Ahmad

Summary

First published
January 10, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian infrastructure
Residential building
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
3
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
3 named, 1 familiy identified
View Incident

Incident date

January 1, 2024

Incident Code

TS676

LOCATION

نبل و الزهراء, Nubl and Al-Zahraa, Aleppo, Syria

On Monday, January 1st, 2024, three civilian members of one family, including a pregnant mother alongside her infant daughter and her father-in-law, were killed and up to 13 civilians were injured due to an artillery strike reportedly perpetrated by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a militia faction part of the Al-Fath Al-Mubin grouping affiliated with the Turkish

Summary

First published
January 1, 2024
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian infrastructure
Residential building
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
3
(1 child1 woman1 man)
Civilians reported injured
10–13
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
3 named, 1 familiy identified
View Incident

Incident date

December 28, 2023

Incident Code

TS674

LOCATION

مركز غسيل الكلى, Dialysis Centre, Al Hassakah, Syria

On December 28th, 2023, a 65 year-old kidney patient identified as Ahmed Abd al-Rahman Khadr reportedly died as he could not access treatment, following the reported destruction three days earlier of a dialysis center hit by alleged Turkish air or drone strikes in Qamishlo city. Rojava TV and Ibrahim Sheikho described Ahmed Abd al-Rahman Khadr

Summary

First published
December 28, 2023
Last updated
March 18, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian infrastructure
Healthcare facility
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
1
(1 man)
Cause of injury / death
Denial of access to/destruction of objects indispensable to survival
Airwars civilian harm grading
Fair
Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
Impact
Healthcare
Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
Suspected belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
Geolocation
Nearby landmark
View Incident

Incident date

December 25, 2023

Incident Code

TS669

LOCATION

كُوبَانِي, Kobani, Aleppo, Syria

On the morning of Monday, December 25, 2023, two civilians working for a construction company were injured following alleged Turkish strikes on the city of Kobani (Ain Al-Arab) in northern Syria. According to ANF news, the strikes not only wounded two civilians, but also caused material damage to the citizens’ property. The Facebook users Kobani

Summary

First published
December 25, 2023
Last updated
March 11, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Geolocation
City
View Incident

Incident date

December 25, 2023

Incident Code

TS670

LOCATION

مطبعة سيماف في القامشلي, Simav (Simaf) printing press on the Western Belt Road, city of Qamishli (Qamishlo), Al Hassakah, Syria

At 10:30 AM on Monday, December 25th, 2023, six employees, among them a young woman, of the Simav (Simaf) printing press located on the Western Belt Road in the city of Qamishli in the Al-Hassakah Governorate, Syria, were killed, and many civilians were injured in an airstrike allegedly perpetrated by the Turkish military. One of

Summary

First published
December 25, 2023
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
7
(1 woman6 men)
Civilians reported injured
12–24
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.
Impact
Education
Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
Suspected belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
7 named
View Incident

Incident date

December 25, 2023

Incident Code

TS671

LOCATION

صوامع الحبوب, east of Qamishlo, northern Syria, Al Hassakah, Syria

On Monday, December 25, 2023, a civilian was reportedly killed by an alleged Turkish airstrike in the grain silos area to the east of the town of Qamishlo in northern Syria. According to Watan News, the victim was “in the vicinity of a mill in the grain silos” when the strike occurred. The identity of

Summary

First published
December 25, 2023
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike
Civilian infrastructure
Agriculture
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
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.
Impact
Food
Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
Suspected belligerent
Turkish Military
View Incident

Incident date

December 25, 2023

Incident Code

TS672

LOCATION

قرية ام الفرسان, Um Al-Fursan, Al Hassakah, Syria

On Monday, December 25th, 2023, a young woman named Aya Al-Sabaawi was killed by a bombing reportedly perpetrated by the Turkish military, while her younger cousin Thuraya Al-Sabaawi was injured in the same attack which hit a mill and a cotton warehouse in the village of Umm Al-Fursan, east of the city of Qamishlo, Syria, according to

Summary

First published
December 25, 2023
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike
Civilian infrastructure
Agriculture
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
1
(1 woman)
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
2 named, 1 familiy identified
View Incident

Incident date

December 24, 2023

Incident Code

TS668

LOCATION

ٱلْقَحْطَانِيَّة, “Awda” oil station, in the countryside of the town of Al-Qahtaniyah/Tirbespiyeh, Al Hassakah, Syria

Around 10:15 PM on Saturday, December 23rd, 2023, an alleged Turkish airstrike hit the Awda (Odeh) oil station in the countryside of the town of Al-Qahtaniyah (Tirbespiyeh), Syria, injuring a citizen named Hussein Hamza Saadoun and reportedly a number of other oil station employees. Multiple reports came out to indicate that the oil wells were

Summary

First published
December 24, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike
Civilian infrastructure
Oil facility, Power Station
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
1–3
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
View Incident

Incident date

December 24, 2023

Incident Code

TS673

LOCATION

محطة الوقود, Qamishlo, Al Hassakah, Syria

On Sunday, December 24th, 2023, an alleged airstrike on the city of Qamishlo in Al-Hassakah Governorate in northeastern Syria reportedly perpetrated by the Turkish military killed a renowned 39-year-old Kurdish cinematographer, Mansour Karimian. Some sources provided a different date and place of his death. According to the New York Kurdish Cultural Center, Mansour was killed

Summary

First published
December 24, 2023
Last updated
July 5, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
1
(1 man)
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
View Incident

Incident date

December 17, 2023

Incident Code

TS667

LOCATION

نبل و الزهراء, residential neighborhoods of Nubl and Al-Zahraa, Aleppo, Syria

On the evening of Sunday, December 17th, 2023, the residential neighborhoods of the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa in the northern countryside of Aleppo, Syria, were struck by the artillery bombardment perpetrated by the Turkish affiliated militia Al-Fatah Al-Mubin, as a result of which between two to eight civilians were reportedly injured. According to SOHR,

Summary

First published
December 17, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Declared strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian infrastructure
Residential building
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
2–8
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.
Known belligerent
Turkish Military
View Incident

Incident date

December 9, 2023

Incident Code

TS666

LOCATION

الزهراء, نبل‎, the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa, the Western countryside of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

On the evening of Saturday, December 9, 2023, four identified civilians, including two women and an infant, were killed and up to 26 civilians, including four women and eleven children, were injured in a bombardment of the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa in the western countryside of Aleppo allegedly perpetrated by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly

Summary

First published
December 9, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike and/or Artillery
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
4
(1 child2 women1 man)
Civilians reported injured
19–26
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
22 named, 3 families identified
View Incident

Incident date

December 5, 2023

Incident Code

TS665

LOCATION

حربل, village of Harbel in the Al-Shahba area, northern countryside of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

On Tuesday, December 5, 2023, a Kurdish civilian man was seriously wounded while driving his car by an alleged drone strike by the Turkish military on the village of Harbel in the Al-Shahba area, in the northern countryside of Aleppo, Syria. According to the local sources, the attack was perpetrated with a “suicide drone”. According

Summary

First published
December 5, 2023
Last updated
April 4, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
View Incident

Incident date

December 3, 2023

Incident Code

TS664

LOCATION

قرية بيني, village of Binah, Sherawa District, Aleppo, Syria

On Wednesday, December 3rd, 2023, an elderly man was seriously injured due to a drone attack allegedly perpetrated by the Turkish military, in the village of Binahi in the Sherawa district, north of Aleppo, Syria. Issa Kado is a 73-year-old Kurdish civilian with short gray hair, a beard, a dark complexion, and wearing glasses. Dressed

Summary

First published
December 3, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian infrastructure
Residential building
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
View Incident

Incident date

November 26, 2023

Incident Code

TS663

LOCATION

الدرباسية, residential neighborhoods in the city of Al-Darbasiyah, Al-Hasakah, Al-Hasakah, Syria

At least four civilians were wounded, including a child, in Al-Hasakah near the Turkish border on Sunday evening, November 27th, 2023. Nisreen Muhammad Aziz (nine years old), Lauren Ramadan Kalo (29 years old), Muhammad Louay Tawfiq (18 years old), and Hussein Mustafa (30 years old) were injured by a spray of bullets aimed at the Al-Darbasiyah district, north of

Summary

First published
November 26, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Contested strike
Strike type
Ground operation
Civilian infrastructure
Residential building
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
4
Cause of injury / death
Small arms and light weapons
Airwars civilian harm grading
Contested
Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
Suspected belligerents
YPG, Turkish Military
Named victims
4 named
View Incident

Incident date

November 25, 2023

Incident Code

R4630

LOCATION

قوقفين, village of Qoqfin in Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib, Syria

During the morning of Saturday, November 25, 2023, an artillery shelling allegedly perpetrated by Syrian regime forces and/or Russian forces on the village of Qoqfin in Jabal al-Zawiya, south of the town of Idlib, killed at least 10 and up to 11 civilians who were working in the olive fields harvesting olive crop, including at

Summary

First published
November 25, 2023
Last updated
December 4, 2023
Strike status
Contested strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian infrastructure
Agriculture
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
10 – 11
(7 children1 woman2 men)
Civilians reported injured
1–2
Cause of injury / death
Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
Airwars civilian harm grading
Contested
Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
Impact
Food
Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
Suspected belligerents
Syrian Regime, Russian Military
Named victims
10 named, 1 familiy identified
View Incident

Published

November 24, 2023

Session on Wednesday November 29th vital for British military transparency

On Wednesday November 29th, the London-based civilian harm watchdog Airwars will take the UK government to a tribunal. The session is to appeal against the refusal of the Ministry of Defence and the Information Commissioner to release any details about the single civilian casualty that the UK has admitted in the past decade.

In eight years of bombing the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the UK claims to have killed more than 4,000 ISIS militants but only one civilian. In the same timeframe, the US has accepted responsibility for causing the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians.

A strike on March 26, 2018 remains the only time the UK government has officially accepted harming civilians. The Minister of Defence told parliament in May 2018 that “[d]uring a strike to engage three Daesh fighters, a civilian motorbike crossed into the strike area at the last moment and it is assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed.”

Since then the MoD has refused to release even basic details about the incident – including the location, how it reached that designation and rejected other allegations of civilian harm, and who made the ultimate decision that the allegation was ‘credible.’

Airwars’ head of investigations Joe Dyke first filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) case requesting such details in early 2021. The Ministry of Defence rejected it, saying that releasing this information would threaten national security.

In the past three years a number of developments have made the UK’s refusal look even less transparent.

    In 2021 the United States released to The New York Times more than 1300 civilian harm assessments after a similar freedom of information case. Each document showed how the US military decided whether or not it had killed civilians in a particular incident. These are exactly the kinds of documents Airwars asked the UK to produce. Earlier this year, the Dutch Government released the coordinates of every strike Dutch pilots conducted during the anti-ISIS campaign. This led to an additional civilian harm incident being linked to the Dutch, with the country’s public prosecutor opening a legal case. The Information Commissioner, while siding with the MoD, ruled that the UK’s approach appeared less transparent than the United States. Airwars and The Guardian revealed that the incident in 2018 was not properly recorded either by the MoD or by the US-led Coalition.

The tribunal, in which Airwars is represented by Leigh Day solicitors and barrister Will Perry of Monckton Chambers, will be a vital opportunity to review whether the British public is allowed to understand how the UK decided whether those killed in their name are militants or civilians. Without this oversight, the UK will remain far behind its allies when it comes to transparency on civilian harm.

Emily Tripp, director at Airwars, said: “This tribunal is vital for the sake of basic military transparency. We still have no understanding as to how the UK military assesses whether or not their actions harmed civilians. The UK government insists that even a minimal level of transparency and openness would threaten national security.”

We are only asking for the UK to follow its allies in showing the public how these assessments are made. Without such transparency, there is no legitimacy to the Ministry of Defence’s claim that it only killed one civilian in the war against ISIS – which erodes public trust in our military institutions.”

“Our clients are concerned with a fundamental lack of transparency in how the UK assesses the risk to civilians of its air strikes before they are carried out, as well as how it investigates and assesses civilian harm after the event,” Erin Alcock of Leigh Day said. “Transparency in cases of civilian harm is vital to ensure accountability.”

The tribunal will take place in London on November 29th and 30th, with most of the open evidence to be heard on the 29th.

Journalists interested in covering tribunal that require further details can contact Joe Dyke, who led the initial appeal, on josephdyke [at] airwars.org

▲ A satellite image of the location where the US-led Coalition investigated the strike on March 26, 2018, ultimately concluding there was no Coalition strike that day.

Incident date

November 23, 2023

Incident Code

TS660

LOCATION

قرية قرفل, Village of Qarfal, near Ain Essa, Raqqa, Syria

On the 23rd of November, 2023, a number of civilians, reportedly cotton workers, were injured and a car was severely damaged by an alleged Turkish artillery strike on the village of Qarfal, near the town of Ain Issa in Tell Abyad District, to the north of Raqqa, Syria. Several reports on the strike stated that

Summary

First published
November 23, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Artillery
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
View Incident

Incident date

November 23, 2023

Incident Code

TS661

LOCATION

قرية عامودا, Amuda, Hasakah countryside, Al Hasakah, Syria

On the 23rd of November, 2023, an alleged Turkish drone strike on a car reportedly killed one civilian and seriously wounded two others in the town of Amuda, Al-Hasakah Governorate in north-eastern Syria. Amouda News initially identified three wounded civilians as: Munir Abdel Fares, his wife Ronak Suleiman Muhammad, and Joan  (Jwan) Suleiman Muhammad. The following

Summary

First published
November 23, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
1
(1 man)
Civilians reported injured
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
3 named, 1 familiy identified
View Incident

Incident date

November 23, 2023

Incident Code

TS662

LOCATION

قرية بوغاز, the village of Al-Bugaz, west of Manbij city, Aleppo, Syria

At nine o’clock in the morning on Thursday, the 23rd of November, 2023, two civilians, including a woman, working as olive farmers, were reportedly injured in an alleged Turkish drone strike that targeted a car in the village of Al-Bugaz, near the city of Manbij in Aleppo Governorate in north-west Syria. On the day following

Summary

First published
November 23, 2023
Last updated
July 2, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian infrastructure
Agriculture
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
Unknown
Civilians reported injured
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.
Impact
Food
Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
Suspected belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
View Incident

Incident date

November 22, 2023

Incident Code

TS659

LOCATION

ناحية تربة سبيه, Terbet Sabeh, Qamishlo district, Al Hassakah, Syria

On November 22nd, 2023, two people, including a 26-year-old man named Hassan Ismail Shaheen, originally from the Girke Legki (alternative spelling Girkê legê) district, were killed and others were injured in a strike allegedly perpetrated with a Turkish drone in Terbet Sabeh in the Qamishlo district (Hassakeh Governorate, Northeastern Syria); the event was reported by

Summary

First published
November 22, 2023
Last updated
May 7, 2024
Strike status
Likely strike
Strike type
Airstrike, Drone Strike
Civilian harm reported
Yes
Civilians reported killed
2
(1 man)
Civilians reported injured
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 belligerent
Turkish Military
Named victims
1 named
View Incident