Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

End Cross Border Bombing Campaign: Revealing Civilian Casualties in Turkish Military Operations in Northern Iraq (2022)

The “End Cross Border Bombing” campaign report, launched on the 27th of July 2023, has exposed the devastating impact of Turkish military operations on civilians in Northern Iraq during 2022. This article presents a summary of the gathered information, highlighting the distressing number of civilian casualties and incidents caused by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).

Civilian Casualties and Injuries:
Tragically, between 18 and 20 civilians lost their lives, including six innocent children, and an additional 57 to 58 civilians were injured in 11 incidents orchestrated by the TAF in Northern Iraq during 2022.

Majority of Attacks from Turkish Bases:
Disturbingly, six of these attacks were launched from the more than 60 bases that the TAF has built within Iraqi Kurdistan. This marked the majority of civilian harm incidents for the first time since 2015, exposing the vulnerability of civilians residing in the region.

Largest Toll in a Single Incident:
One devastating incident involved the targeting of a picnic area at a mountain village resort, resulting in the highest civilian toll since 2015. Nine civilians, including three children, were killed, and 23 others were wounded in this horrific attack. The victims were tourists from central and southern regions of Iraq, highlighting the indiscriminate nature of the violence.

Other Attacks from Turkish Bases and Drones:
In five other attacks originating from Turkish bases, a total of six civilians were killed, including two children, three women who were participating in community celebrations, and a farmer working on his land. Additionally, four incidents saw civilians bombed by Turkish drones, causing further casualties among innocent civilians.

Makhmur Refugee Camp Targeted:
The 11th recorded incident saw the TAF conduct multiple airstrikes inside Makhmur refugee camp, resulting in the death of up to two civilians and injuring 15 others. The camp, already a haven for thousands fleeing violence, became a site of further tragedy and despair.

Call for Accountability and Change:
The “End Cross Border Bombing” campaign calls for an end to all air and ground attacks impacting civilian lives and livelihoods, as well as a withdrawal of Turkish forces from built bases. Diplomatic efforts for negotiations between the Turkish government and the PKK are urged to establish lasting peace

The “End Cross Border Bombing” campaign has shed crucial light on the immense suffering endured by civilians in the wake of Turkish military operations in Northern Iraq. Urgent action is needed to ensure accountability for these tragic incidents and to safeguard innocent lives caught in the crossfire of conflict. The international community must unite to demand change, protection, and lasting peace for the civilians affected by these attacks.

To gain further insight into the harrowing details of civilian casualties in Northern Iraq during 2022, you can read the full report by clicking here.