Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

R4340

Incident date

July 12, 2021

Location

حميمات, Hmeimat, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian, a 10 year old girl, was killed and one or two of her siblings were injured in alleged Russian and/ or regime artillery or rocket strikes on the village of Hmeimat on July 12, 2021.

@IdlibPlus reported on “the death of a girl and the injury of two other children as a result of heavy artillery shelling by the regime forces based in or near Jorin camp on Hmeimat village”. A video published by the same outlet (see below) showed at least five apparent targets struck in the village.

The deceased victim was named by @spc_fr as Jamila Yasser Al-Jassem, who it said was killed during an attack on the Jorin camp within the village. OGN Arabic published a video of Jamila which it said had been taken just 24 hours before her death. @anasanas84 said that Jamila was ten years old, while local source Hadi Khraat said the two unnamed injured victims were also from the same family.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported one child killed and one injured in the attack, noting: “A girl, named as Jamileh Yaser al Jasem, was killed and her brother was injured when Syrian regime artillery forces fired shells on Hmaimat village in Sahl al Ghab in the western suburbs of Hama governorate on July 12, 2021. SNHR notes that this shelling is a breach of the ceasefire agreement reached following consultations between the Turkish and Russian presidents, which came into effect on March 6, 2020.”

The local White Helmets instead reported “that the bombing led to the killing of a girl and the injury of two girls from the same family,” according to Syria TV. Instead, Fresh Syria News said both siblings were brothers of Jamila.

The Anadolu Agency blamed the attack on regime forces, noting that two injured children were treated at a local hospital. According to Enab Baladi News, the attacks began at dawn: “At five in the morning, the Al-Ghab Plain witnessed artillery shelling that focused on the villages of Hemeimat, Qastoun, Qalidin, and Zaqqum, north of the Al-Ghab Plain, according to what Ammar Abu Al-Hassan, a worker at the Unified Observatory in northern Syria, told Enab Baladi. As a result, civilian homes were destroyed, especially in the village of Hmeimat, which received the largest share of the bombing. The source of the artillery bombardment was members of the regime forces located in the Jorin camp and the village of Al-Darabila, northwest of Hama governorate.”

The incident occured at approximately 5:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Jamila Yasser Al-Jassem 10 years old female killed
  • Brother of Jamila Child male Possibly female according to one source injured
  • Unnamed relative Child female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • A girl was killed and two girls, all from the same family, were killed, by missile strikes by the regime and Russia forces that targeted their house in the village of Hmeimat in the Al-Ghab Plain, this morning, Monday, July 12, and the town of Qastoun was subjected to artillery shelling on its residential neighborhoods, without causing any casualties.
  • 'Jamila was killed as a result of the bombing of the Russian occupation forces and the militias of #Bashar_Assad, while she was sleeping in her home this morning in the village of Hmeimat. This video of her was filmed less than 24 hours before her murder.'
  • 'The effects of destruction as a result of the Russian artillery shelling on the village of Hmeimat, southwest of Idlib'
  • Image of Jamila (circled) via @anasanas84

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI061

Incident date

June 5, 2021

Location

مخمور, Makhmour Refugee Camp, Erbil, Iraq

Geolocation

35.755637, 43.603063 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least three people were killed and up to five others were injured in an alleged Turkish drone strike on Makhmour Refugee Camp south of Erbil in Kurdistan, Iraq. The Turkish government and their sources refer to those killed as members of the PKK while local and international sources refer to those killed and wounded as civilians.

The official of the National Union in Makhmour, Rashad Kalali, told Baghdad Today, “Turkish warplanes bombed Makhmour camp, located minutes ago, in the south of the district. The bombing targeted gardens for children inside the camp, which led to 3 casualties and 4 injuries,” explaining that “the camp is for Turkish refugees who have lived in it since 1997.”

A member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Gazi Kakai, also told Mangish “Turkish bombing targeted a refugee camp, specifically a park for children’s games, killing 3 and wounding 5 others” and “those who are inside the camp have nothing to do with the [Kurdistan Workers Party] PKK, and they have been in Makhmour since 1997 in accordance with the Refugee Protection Convention.”

The Kurdistan Party has referred to those killed as “civilians” and Deutsche Welle reported that “three civilians were killed and two more injured on Saturday in a Turkish missile attack on a refugee camp in northern Iraq.”

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield tweeted that “I made clear to Turkish officials that any attack targeting civilians at Makhmour refugee camp would be a violation of international and humanitarian law.”

A few days prior to the incident, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had threatened to “clean up” Makhmour camp because it was being used as a base for the PKK.

According to Reuters, “Erdogan said that Selman Bozkir, who he said was a senior PKK official and manager of the Makhmour camp, had been “neutralised” – a term Turkish authorities use for targets who have been killed or wounded.” In addition, “an Iraqi security official said PKK officials at the camp had prevented police from entering the camp after the air strike, and declined to share details of the casualties.”

Daily Sabbah, a Turkish pro-government source, also added that “the PKK terrorist group’s so-called Makhmour regional leader in northern Iraq code-named “Doctor Hüseyin” was eliminated” and ” two more terrorists were neutralized in the operation,” referring to Makhmour as “portrayed as a refugee camp but actually serving as a recruitment and training area for the PKK.”

Kurdistan 24 reported “A security source who asked not to be named told Kurdistan 24 that the Turkish drone also struck a PKK outpost near the camp. “The Turkish drone targeted a headquarters of PKK militants located in the vicinity of the refugee camp,” they said, killing and wounding several PKK members.”

All of the sources that reported on the incident confirm that Turkey was responsible and the Turkish president took credit for the operation on Twitter, thanking his security forces for a successful operation and naming Selman Bozkir as being killed.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–3

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Caption translation: The official of the National Union in Makhmour, Rashad Kalali, told (Baghdad Today), "Turkish warplanes bombed Makhmour camp, located minutes ago, in the south of the district." Kalali added, "The bombing targeted gardens for children inside the camp, which led to 3 casualties and 4 injuries," explaining that "the camp is for Turkish refugees who have lived in it since 1997." (Images from Baghdad Today)
  • Caption translation: The official of the National Union in Makhmour, Rashad Kalali, told (Baghdad Today), "Turkish warplanes bombed Makhmour camp, located minutes ago, in the south of the district." Kalali added, "The bombing targeted gardens for children inside the camp, which led to 3 casualties and 4 injuries," explaining that "the camp is for Turkish refugees who have lived in it since 1997." (Images from Baghdad Today)
  • Caption translation: The official of the National Union in Makhmour, Rashad Kalali, told (Baghdad Today), "Turkish warplanes bombed Makhmour camp, located minutes ago, in the south of the district." Kalali added, "The bombing targeted gardens for children inside the camp, which led to 3 casualties and 4 injuries," explaining that "the camp is for Turkish refugees who have lived in it since 1997." (Images from Baghdad Today)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a children’s playing ground within the Makhmour Refugee Camp (مخمور), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.755637, 43.603063. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Turkish Armed Forces

Here I want to give good news to our nation.

Selman Bozkır, code-named "Doctor Hüseyin", the senior manager of the terrorist organization PKK and the general manager of Mahmur, was neutralized by the heroes of our National Intelligence Organization yesterday.

On behalf of my nation, I would like to thank all my friends who contributed to this successful operation.

We will not allow the treacherous and separatist organization to use Mahmur as an "incubation center" for terrorism, and we will continue to dry terrorism at its source.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–3

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS104

Incident date

May 2, 2021

Location

عفرين, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian, a child, was killed and two others, including a woman, were injured in alleged Kurdish or regime strikes on Afrim in the northern countryside of Aleppo on May 2, 2021.

The Syrian Civil Defense reported “the killing of the child “Alia Rahim, 5 years old, and the wounding of a woman and a man, as a result of missile strikes from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo.” Various other sources gave the slain child’s age as three years old.

SCD also added that the child’s family had been displaced “from the southern countryside of Aleppo” and Shaam specified that her family “lives in a tent after she was displaced… from the village of Al-Batrana.” The Syrian Network for Human Rights added that the man and woman injured were the child’s parents and Baladi News reported that the parents were seriously injured and taken to the city hospital.

EdlibEmc1 also reported “a child was killed and others were injured due to artillery shelling by separatist Kurdish parties on the city of Afrin, north of Aleppo.”

The Turkish Ministry of Defense stated that the YPG had launched “8 cannons / rockets in the area where the fields are located in Afrin, Olive Branch, injured the mother, her child and a villager,” adding that the child could not be saved.

The Syrian Documentation Center reported that “more than 12 rockets” struck the neighborhood while 7al only identified six shells and located the strikes on the road to Jenderes. Radio Al Kul gave the specific location of the attacks as hitting “the Al-Jadida farm, south of Afrin.”

The majority of sources attributed the strikes to Kurdish forces. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “it is not known yet if regime forces or Kurdish forces fired these rockets.” They also added that the area hit is under the control of “Turkish forces and their proxy factions” and just a few days prior, Turkish forces had shelled “the Kurdish-controlled villages of Bainah and Sawaghnah in Shirawa district in Afrin countryside.” A tweet from @anasanas84 also blamed the attack on “the Al-Assad and Qasd gangs.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Caption translation: The killing of the child “Alia Rahim, 5 years old, and the wounding of a woman and a man, as a result of missile strikes from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo. The body of the child and secured the place. (Image posted Syrian Civil Defense)
  • Caption translation: A five-year-old girl, named as Aliaa Rahim, was killed and her parents were injured in shelling by Syrian Democratic Forces who used a missile launcher to bombard a residential area in the center of Afrin city in the northern suburbs of Aleppo governorate on May 2. (Image posted by Syrian Network for Human Rights)
  • Screengrab taken from a video posted by the Turkish ministry of Defense on Twitter about the alleged Kurdish shelling on Afrin on May 2, 2021.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Caption translation: A child was killed and a woman was injured as a result of artillery shelling by the Syrian Democratic Forces targeting the city of Afrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo. (Image posted by @zelal_abo_adnan)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Caption translation: The death of the three-year-old girl, Alia, and the injury of her mother as a result of artillery shelling by the SDF that targeted the city of Afrin, west of Aleppo, this morning, Sunday, May 2. (Image posted by @firas_alkhalifa)

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1957

Incident date

April 4, 2021

Location

مبروكة‎, Mabrouka countryside, Al Hassaka, Syria

Geolocation

36.665778, 39.858190 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least one named man, whose status as a civilian or belligerent presently remains contested, was killed and a civilian was injured in alleged Coalition airstrikes (or possibly an IED attack) near the city of Ras Al-Ain in the Al Hassaka countryside on April 4th 2021. The UK declared a Reaper drone strike in the near region for that date.

Free Hasska Reporter described and included pictures of what it said was a Kia vehicle, after having been reportedly struck with “three missiles” and named the person killed as Omar Abdel-Fattah. Adar Press indicated that he may have been using another name and ” it was not able to know his real name, but he bears an identity issued by the local council of the city of Ras al-Ain.”

Instead according to Ezdina, “a civilian lost his life and another was wounded, as a result of the explosion of an explosive device, today, Sunday, in the countryside of Sere Kaniye / Ras Al-Ain.” It  also reported that “the explosive device, which was planted in a civilian vehicle, exploded.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ” the dead man was a civilian, not belonging to any armed faction, and he was from the region and belonged to the Adwan clan, which is why it is likely that his death was a result of clan and family disputes.”

Ida2at also identified the man killed as a civilian, stating that he died from “the explosion of a truck transporting petroleum products…as a result of a technical failure that led to the ignition of the refined fuel.” They also added that the road that the incident occurred on was “used by armed factions loyal to the “Turkish occupation”, to allegedly facilitate smuggling operations with Syrian Democratic Forces.

Syrian TV also identified both the man killed and wounded as being civilians, though harmed by an explosive device planted in the car, adding that they had “crossed illegally” coming from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the countryside of Hasaka.”

Euphrates Post quoted local sources as saying “a “Kia 2700” vehicle exploded on Darbasiyah Road before entering Ras Al-Ain, killing the driver, whom it described as a member of the “National Army”, and also wounding a civilian.”

A tweet by the Violations Documentation Centre identified the man killed as being an “ISIS leader” and attributed the strike to “a drone, believed to be by the international coalition to fight ISIS led by the United States.” Rojava Network also noted what it said was the “killing of the leader of the terrorist organization ISIS, Omar Abdel Fattah, in a raid by an international coalition drone”.

Xeber 24 instead reported that “sources suggested that the targeted person was affiliated with the armed factions and organizations supported by Turkey, as the Ankara loyalists struck a large security cordon at the location of the targeting.”

According to NPA Syrian, “this [would be] the first time that the Global Coalition has targeted ISIS or al-Qaeda leaders in this region.”

The British Royal Air Force issued a statement on April 8th that “In a separate operation carried on Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Omar Abdel-Fattah Adult male Contested as to whether belligerent or civilian killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    British Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    ISIS, Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An image of Omar Abdel Fattah, contested as to whether he was a civilian or belligerent, killed in strikes against Ras al-Ain on April 4, 2021. (Image posted by Roja Ava network via Facebook)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of Mabrouka (مبروكة‎). According to research conducted by @obretix, a possible location for this strike is: 36.665778, 39.858190. However, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

British Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    British Armed Forces
  • British Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

British Armed Forces

In a separate operation carried on Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    British Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    ISIS, Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC425

Incident date

March 19, 2021

Location

زمزم, Zamzam, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.087047, 20.150771 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Eight children were allegedly injured by artillery shelling from an unknown belligerent in Benghazi.

Libya Alahrar TV wrote: “Al-Galaa Hospital for Surgery and Accidents in Benghazi announced that eight children were injured yesterday, Friday, as a result of a shell landing in the Zamzam neighborhood.

The hospital added in a statement on Saturday that the injured children, who were between the ages of eleven and sixteen years old, had moderate or critical injuries, including those who received first aid and left the hospital.

There has been no official clarifying statement issued by the official authorities in Benghazi until the moment to reveal who was behind the launch of the shell.”

Other sources published similar reports.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Zamzam (زمزم), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.087047, 20.150771. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Zamzam (زمزم).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS467

Incident date

March 19, 2021

Location

الحيدريات, Al Hadaryat, Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

36.387809, 38.862934 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

A 12 year old child was among three civilians killed, with up to four others injured, in what was described as a Turkish rocket or artillery strike on the village of Al-Hadaryat.

According to NPA, Turkish strikes had begun in retaliation for the firing of two missiles into Turkey’s Kilis province by alleged Syrian regime forces. Turkish president Erdogan was cited as saying that “Of course, this the regime’s practices, and we responded to them.”

Turkish artillery strikes were reported in a number of areas around Ain Issa, with one attack on the evening of March 19th hitting al-Hadaryat. Along with the death of 12 year old Mahmoud al-Khalil, up to five other civilians were initially reported injured. Ugarit Post named those wounded as Abdullah Omar Abdullah, Najib Hamida, Zahrat Al-Sahl, Iman Al-Sahw and Aziza Al-Jokhaidem. The injured were first treated in Ain Issa before being moved to Raqqa.

Hawar News was alone in saying that four civilians had been injured and one killed, in what it said were both artillery and rocket strikes.

Reports said that two additional civilians had subsequently died of injuries sustained in the attack – named as Zahra Saleh Al Samou, aged 25 (who died on the morning of March 23rd according to Xeber 24 and Hawar News); and Iman Saleh Al-Samou, who died on the same day according to Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently.

The incident occured in the evening.

  • Mahmoud Hamidi Al-Khalil 12 years old male killed
  • Abdullah Omar Abdullah Age unknown male injured
  • Najib Ibrahim Hamida or Hamidi Age unknown male injured
  • Zahra Saleh Al Samou 25 years old female killed
  • Iman Saleh Al-Samou Adult female killed
  • Aziza Al-Jokhaidem or Jukhaidem Adult female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (1 child2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • A civilian injured in a reported Turkish strike on a Syrian village on March 19th 2021 (via ANHA)
  • A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • A civilian victim of a Turkish strike on a Syrian village, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • Reported Turkish strikes in the vicinity of Ain Issa, March 19th 2021 (via SDF)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Zahra al-Samu, who died of injuries sustained in a likely Turkish attack March 19th 2021 (via Hawar News)
  • 'The death of the young woman, Iman Saleh Al-Samou, as a result of her injury due to the Turkish bombing that occurred two days ago on the village of Al-Hadriyat, near the town of Ain Issa. '

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Hadariyat (الحيدريات), allegedly located south east of Ain Issa (عين عيسى). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Ain Issa are: 36.387809, 38.862934.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (1 child2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI056

Incident date

February 10–14, 2021

Location

جبل غارا, Mount Gara, Dohuk, Iraq

Geolocation

37.013345, 43.370045 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

Thirteen Turkish nationals being held captive by the PKK in a location close to village Siyane in the Gare/Gara region in northern Iraq were killed – either during an alleged Turkish airstrike, or executed by the PKK, according to conflicting Kurdish and Turkish sources.

There was however broad agreement that some of those killed were civilians. All of the victims, as detainees, were non combatants. The date of the incident is unclear. Reports of killing the prisoners surfaced on February 14th but the Turkish operation on Gara started on February 10th.

According to Turkish Minute, the bodies of 13 Turkish hostages were found in the Gara region following the launch of Turkish operations there on February 10th. The source said “On Sunday the pro-Kurdish party expressed “deep sadness” over the deaths of the 13 Turks in Iraq, calling on the PKK to free its remaining prisoners.”

Stripes.come said that they Turkish operation was launched to free the Turkish prisoners. “The bodies of the 13 victims were discovered in a cave complex in northern Iraq’s Gara region, near the Turkish border, during an operation against the PKK, launched on Feb. 10, that had aimed to free the hostages.”

Haber Turk reported that the bodies of the thirteen killed Prisoners of War (PoWs) were taken to Malatya for autopsy. Twelve out of 13 were identified as: Expert Sergeant Hüseyin Sarı; the civilian police commander Sedat Yabalak; Gendarmerie Petty Officer Semih Özbek; Police Officer Vedat Kaya; Jandirma Private Süleyman Sungur; Specialist Private Mevlit Kahveci; Gunner Private Müslüm Altıntaş; Private Adil Kabaklı; Aydın Köse; and Umit Gicir, The civilian was Muhammet Salih Kanca, and the contracted soldier Sedat Sorgun.

The source published the following details about nine of the victims:

  • Sedat Yabalak, a civilian police officer and father of three in charge of Şanlıurfa Police Department in Turkey was abducted by the PKK on July 28th 2015 on the Lice-Diyarbakır highway, in front of his wife Burcu Yabalak and their three children, while returning from Erzurum.
  • Private Adil Kabaklı, during his military service, was abducted on the Tunceli Pülümür highway in Turkey while returning to his unit in Ağrı on October 2, 2015.
  • Expert Sergeant Mevlüt Kahveci, aged 31 and referred to as a specialized Gendarmerie Sergeant, was kidnapped by the PKK at a roadblock near Doğanlıköyü in Hakkari’s Çukurca district in Turkey in September 2016.
  • Air Defense Specialist Sergeant Hüseyin Sarı’s, aged 32, was kidnapped by the PKK on the Diyarbakır-Bingöl Highway in Turkey on August13th 2015.
  • Vedat Kaya was a civilian police officer in Istanbul. He and his wife were kidnapped in 2016 by the PKK at a roadblock in the Lice district of Diyarbakır in Turkey while he was returning to his hometown for his brother’s wedding convoy
  • Aydın Köse: No details about the date he was kidnapped by Haber Turk. Mürvet Karakoç mentioned that he is registered of the population of Adıyaman. He was referred to as a civilian by sources including Muhsin.guler.
  • Staff Petty Officer Sergeant Major Semih Özbey was detained by the PKK on the Tunceli-Erzincan highway in Turkey on September 18th 2015.
  • Süleyman Sungur, while doing his military service, was abducted by the PKK from a bus on the Lice road to his hometown Siirt in Turkey in 2015.
  • Private Sedat Sorgun, who was serving as a military officer in Van, was kidnapped by the PKK at a roadblock near Diyarbakır Lice in 2015.

@Kche_shakh tweeted “13 Turkish civilians were killed on the Gara mountains the highest mountains range in southern Kurdistan. Wondering what the Turkish civilians were doing there?”.

The list included the ten names identified by the Turkish Ministry of Defense twitter account as the killed prisoners of war, in addition to three additional names of belligerents likely killed while participating in the Turkish military operation. They are Ertug Guler, Burak Coscun and Harun Turhan. The Turkish minister of defence said that three soldiers were killed during the operation and three others were wounded.

Held captive for many years by the PKK in Kurdistan, their plight was raised by MPs many times back in Turkey, calling for their release. Turkey and the PKK are now accusing each other of responsibility for the killing of the 13 captive Turkish nationals:

Turkey launched its Eagle Claw 2 operation on the Gare region of northern Iraq on February 10th, where the 13 hostages were being held in a cave there.

A statement later issued by the PKK gave the group’s side of the story. They accused Turkey of killing the prisoners during an operation that had begun on February 10th. “A camp where prisoners of war belonging to the Turkish security forces were held has been attacked in Gare. The camp was intensively bombed from the air at five o’clock [not clear if this is am or pm] on February 10th. This was followed by a ground attack in which every form of war technology was used. In order to protect themselves and the prisoners, our forces located in the camp under bombardment gave the necessary response to the occupiers and hit them effectively.”

The PKK statement continued: “After this strike, the occupying Turkish army retreated a bit. Although it knew that there were prisoners there, the camp was again intensively bombed by fighter jets. The bombardment, which lasted for three days, and the fierce battles inside and outside the camp resulted in the death of some of the MIT members, soldiers and policemen we had captured. That no one would survive such a fierce attack was clear to anyone with basic military knowledge. The attack was not aimed at liberating the prisoners of war, but at destroying them.”

Kurdistan Democratic Communities Union said that YPG also published videos showing the Turkish bombardment of the location where the POWs had been held on February 14th.

By contrast, Turkey accused the PKK of executing the prisoners. Stripes.com for example reported Turkish officials as saying that “Twelve of the victims were shot in the head and one died of a shoulder bullet wound.”

Turkey’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar made a statement on the Gara operation to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. He said that it wasn’t possible to target the area where the cave is located because of the geographical location and structure. “due to the location and the terrain, the mountain ranges and the difficulty of reaching here, the operation has not been carried out in Gara.”

The minister was also reported by TGRT Haber TV as saying that “in the attack and in response to the shooting and the grenades from inside the cave, we only used teargas bombs. ”

The deaths of 13 unarmed Turkish nationals caused uproar in Turkey. President Erdogan reportedly vowed to expand cross-border operations against the Kurdish group in northern Iraq. Erdogan was quoted as saying “that the killings have strengthened Turkey’s will to form a secure zone along its border in northern Iraq to protect Turkey’s frontiers from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.”

The US State Department released a statement on February 14th condemning the deaths: “The United States deplores the death of Turkish citizens in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. We stand with our NATO Ally Turkey and extend our condolences to the families of those lost in the recent fighting. If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”

Anadolu Agency on Twitter said that “In call with Turkish FM, [US Secretary of State] Blinken affirmed US ‘view that PKK terrorists bear responsibility’ for Turkish civilians martyred in N.Iraq.” The Afghan government also condemned the incident, and blamed the PKK for the killing of the prisoners. And the Turkish Ministry of Defence tweeted that the UK’s Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace had “extended his condolences for the Turkish personnel and citizens that were martyred in Gara by the PKK terrorist organization.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Muhammet Salih Kanca 38 years old male killed
  • Hüseyin Sarı 32 years old male Expert Sergeant killed
  • Sedat Yabalak Age unknown male Police Officer killed
  • Semih Özbek Age unknown male Gendarmerie Petty Officer killed
  • Vedat Kaya 28 years old male Police Officer killed
  • Süleyman Sungur 27 years old male Jandirma Private killed
  • Mevlit Kahveci 31 years old male Specialist Private killed
  • Müslüm Altıntaş Age unknown male Gunner Private killed
  • Adil Kabaklı Age unknown male killed
  • Aydın Köse Age unknown male killed
  • Sedat Sorgun 35 years old male Contracted soldier killed
  • Umit Gicir 35 years old male specialized gendarmerie sergeant killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 13
  • (7–13 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (34) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (26) [ collapse]

  • Statement by the command of the Central People's Defence Forces Headquarters (via @ameddicleT).
  • Statement by the command of the Central People's Defence Forces Headquarters (via @ameddicleT).
  • A list of names of Turkish nationals killed in Gare region. In addition to names of ten prisoners of war, the list includes names of three Turkish soldiers killed during the operation. Via @Kche_shakh
  • Police officer Sedat Yabalak was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Adil Kabaklı was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Specialist sergeant Mevlüt Kahveci was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10/14th (via Haber turk)
  • Uzman Çavuş Hüseyin Sarı'nın was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Vedat Kaya was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Aydın Köse was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Gendarmerie Staff Petty Officer Sergeant Major Semih Özbey was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Süleyman Sungur was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Sedat Sorgun was among 13 prisoners of war reported killed by Turkey bombing or PKK execution in a cave in Gara mountain, IRQ on February 10-14th. (via Haber turk)
  • Via the Turkish Ministry of National Defence.
  • Images of three of the killed PoW tweeted by the Turkish MoD.
  • Via the Turkish Ministry of National defence
  • Images of two of the PoW killed in Gara in Iraq, posted by the Turkish MoD.
  • Via the Turkish Ministry of National Defence.
  • Images of five if the PoW killed, tweeted by the Turkish MoD.
  • Aydın KÖSE. one of 13 Turkish prisoners of war reported killed as a result of a Turkey operation in Gara mountains, or were executed by PKK. (image via Aziz kose, Aydin's brother).
  • Nine of the 13 killed Turkish prisoners of war who were held captive by the PKK in Gara mountain in Iraq. (via Mürvet Karakoç).
  • According to Sabah News, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar released this image claiming it is of the PKK member who executed the Turkish prisoners. His name is Kamuran Ataman, the cave manager, nicknamed "Sorej".
  • Images of 12 Turksih prisoners of war killed allegedly as a result of Turkish airstrikes on a cave where they were kept in Gara, Iraq, or executed by PKK. Image via Muhsin.guler.
  • Two of the three Turkish soldiers killed in the operation in Gara between Feb 10th and 14th. (via the Turkish ministry of defence).
  • One of the three Turkish soldiers killed in the operation in Gara between Feb 10th and 14th. (via the Turkish ministry of defence).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a cave allegedly located within Mount Gara (جبل غارا) of the Amadiya (العمادية) district. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the summit of Mount Gara are: 37.013345, 43.370045.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 13
  • (7–13 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, YPG forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (34) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI054

Incident date

January 22, 2021

Location

العمادية, Amadiya, Dohuk, Iraq

Geolocation

37.092003, 43.486966 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were injured when alleged Turkish airstrikes struck an alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) vehicle in Amadiya district in Dohuk governorate in the afternoon of January 22nd, 2021, according to local sources.

Director of Jumanki Aland Amir told the Iraqi News Agency (INA) that “the Turkish airstrikes targeted the outskirts of the village (Kari) of the Jumanki district in Amadiya district of Dohuk governorate,” indicating that “3 civilians were lightly injured.” The strikes reportedly damaged the homes of the wounded.

The director added that PKK sites in the Kashan area of Batifa district in the Zakho district were also bombed by Turkish warplanes.

Aland Amir revealed more details of the strikes to the Esta Media Network, stating that the “Turkish warplanes bombed a vehicle belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) near Gre village in the sub-district at 02:00 p.m. on Friday.” According to Amir, “three civilians whose house were close to the place of the airstrike were wounded.”

Security sources told 7al that the strikes targeted PKK areas and resulted in the injury of three civilians and damage to residential homes.

@Rawan_12313 posted a video of the strikes with the caption: “Three civilians were injured in Turkish bombing of Amadiya district in Dohuk.”

All sources blamed Turkey for the strikes.

The incident occured at approximately 2:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Translation: “Three civilians were injured in Turkish bombing of Amadiyah district in Dohuk” (via @Rawan_12313).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Amadiya (العمادية), for which the generic coordinates are: 37.092003, 43.486966. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (8) [ collapse]