Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.


Europe & Central Asia


Military targeted Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq, Syria and south-eastern Türkiye, authorities continued to arrest alleged ISIS supporters, and normalisation with Greece remained on track.

Operations against PKK continued. Ahead of expected summer offensive against PKK in northern Iraq, military appeared to fortify supply lines, secure operational support from Baghdad and reinforce existing military outposts. Military also continued strikes on PKK militants. Notably, defence ministry 15-18 June and 26 June said security forces “neutralised” 11 PKK militants in northern Iraq and another 16 in northern Syria; National Intelligence Organization 26 June reportedly “neutralised” PKK leader in Jazira region of Syria, Ali Dinçer, who is wanted by Interpol. Security forces 20-21 June also carried out operations against PKK in south-eastern provinces Şırnak, Batman, and Ağrı. 

Authorities targeted alleged Islamic State (ISIS) members. Detentions during June on ISIS-linked charges continued at lower pace with police arresting at least 62 suspects. Notably, police 10 June detained 11 suspected of financing ISIS; security forces 14 June detained relative of former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reportedly attempting to flee Türkiye; police next day detained two ISIS members in Istanbul city allegedly planning attack.

Türkiye floated BRICS membership, looked to mend ties with Greece, Syria. During China visit, FM Fidan 3 June said Türkiye was considering BRICS membership; Russian President Putin 11 June welcomed interest, and Fidan same day attended BRICS summit in Russia. Meanwhile, Defence Minister Güler 1 June hailed “positive period” in Turkish-Greek relations. Media reports 20 June revealed that Türkiye and Greece had made joint nominations for Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) appointments. However Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias 24 June said ongoing disagreements, including over eastern Mediterranean/Aegean maritime zones, cast doubts on sustainable normalisation. Syrian President Assad 26 June affirmed Syria’s “openness” to relations with Türkiye conditional upon respect for Syrian sovereignty over its territory; President Erdoğan 28 June told reporters there is “no reason” not to restore diplomatic ties with Syria.

Europe & Central Asia


Military continued strikes on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq and northern Syria ahead of expected summer operation in Iraq, while President Erdoğan hosted Greek counterpart in capital Ankara.

Operations against PKK continued in northern Iraq and northern Syria. In northern Iraq, amid ongoing preparations for larger-scale operation in summer, military targeted PKK positions and militants in Hakurk, Gara and Qandil regions; PKK IED attack 22 May killed Turkish soldier in northern Iraq. Defence Minister Yaşar Güler 3 May said military had observed via drones that PKK militants were crossing into Iran after conducting attacks on Turkish forces. Güler 13 May said Bafel Talabani, head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party in Sulaymaniyah, was “preparing his own end” due to alleged ties with PKK (see Iraq). In northern Syria, defence ministry 10 May claimed it “neutralised” seven “PKK/People’s Protection Units (YPG)” militants. 

Authorities targeted alleged Islamic State (ISIS) members. Police during May detained at least 330 individuals, including one Iraqi national on Interpol’s notice list, suspected of ties to ISIS. Notably, police 14 May detained 44 individuals in Şanlıurfa province (south east) and 20 May detained twenty individuals in Izmir city (west). 

Diplomatic engagement with Greece continued. Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis 13 May met President Erdoğan in capital Ankara to discuss bilateral issues, trade ties, progress on “positive agenda” and confidence-building measures; Erdoğan described meeting as “very productive, constructive and cordial” and that there were “no problems that cannot be resolved”, while Mitsotakis confirmed “bilateral relations were growing in a more positive context”. Sides continue to focus on improving ties in areas of trade and other fields of mutual interest.

Europe & Central Asia


Military targeted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria and Iraq, opposition won local elections for first time in two decades, and Turkish-Greek diplomacy continued despite evidence of tensions.

Ahead of potential summer offensive, limited operations against PKK continued. In northern Syria, Turkish defence ministry 14 April announced killing of three militants. In northern Iraq, clashes with PKK 9 April killed Turkish soldier; military 15 April launched airstrikes in mountains Asos and Hakurk areas of north. President Erdoğan late March reiterated plans for summer offensive against PKK in Iraq, stating determination to prevent “terror corridor” and permanently eradicate group. Erdoğan 22 April made first visit to Iraq in over decade, signing over 25 cooperation agreements with Baghdad (see Iraq). 

Authorities targeted alleged Islamic State (ISIS) members. Security forces during April detained at least 410 individuals with alleged links to Islamic State (ISIS). Following deadly ISIS terror attack in Russian capital Moscow in March, perpetrated by Tajikistan nationals, govt 5 April revoked visa-free travel for Tajikistani nationals. 

Opposition edged out ruling party in local elections. In first election defeat for ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since rising to power in 2002, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 31 March local elections with 37.7% of vote to AKP’s 35.5% on 78% voter turnout; CHP secured victories in seven out of eight largest and most economically significant cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. 

Diplomacy with Greece inched ahead. Türkiye and Greece continued preparations for Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s visit to capital Ankara scheduled for 13 May. In step to boost confidence, Greece 1 April launched seven-day visa-free travel scheme for Turkish tourists visiting ten eastern Aegean islands. Underscoring lingering maritime tensions, Ankara 3 April condemned Greece’s declaration of two marine park zones in Ionian and Aegean Seas, claiming Athens sought to disguise its territorial claims with environmental concerns; Greece responded by accusing govt of politicising environmental issues. Defence Ministry 13 April released footage of Greek Coast Guard vessel releasing two migrants into waters of Aegean near Samos/Sisam island. Turkish and Greek delegations 22 April met to discuss progress on confidence-building measures.

Europe & Central Asia


Govt struck agreements with Iraq, including to ban Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and continued operations against PKK in northern Iraq and northern Syria, and Islamic State (ISIS) at home.

Security forces targeted PKK in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, security forces 4 and 19 March announced killing of two of PKK’s “youth leaders” in Sulaymaniyah province. Clashes with PKK 19 March killed Turkish soldier and injured four others in northern Iraq; Türkiye same day responded with round of airstrikes in Metina, Zap, Gara, and Qandil regions (see Iraq). In Syria, security units 22 March carried out operation against People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Qamishli (see Syria). Meanwhile, signalling possible escalation in coming months, President Erdoğan 18 March claimed that Iraqi border would be entirely secured by summer and that “job half-done” in Syria would “certainly” be completed; FM Hakan Fidan same day announced intention in summer to cut off “PKK/YPG” transit route between Iraq and Syria. 

Govt and Iraq laid groundwork for upgraded security and economic cooperation. Senior Turkish delegation led by FM Fidan 14-15 March visited Iraqi capital Baghdad and jointly met senior Iraqi ministers as well as leader of Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces and Kurdistan Regional Govt’s Interior Minister. Meeting established joint Iraqi-Turkish permanent commissions on counterterrorism, water governance, trade, oil trade and transportation, and Baghdad also designated PKK as “banned organisation”, which Turkish officials hailed as pivotal diplomatic win. In addition to bolstering fight against PKK, Ankara hopes improved ties can advance Development Road Initiative, a major trade infrastructure project aiming to connect Iraq’s Basra city to Türkiye; Ankara and Baghdad are reportedly in talks for joint summer offensive against PKK along part of the project’s planned route. 

Authorities targeted alleged Islamic State (ISIS) members. Security forces detained over 400 individuals during March; following ISIS-claimed attack in Moscow 23 March, security forces detained nearly 150 individuals across 30 provinces (see Russia).

Relations with Greece remain on course for enhancement. Erdoğan 4 March conveyed birthday wishes to Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Greek vice-FM Alexandra Papadopoulou 11 March met Turkish vice-FM Burak Akçapar in Ankara as part of Turkish-Greek Political Dialogues format.

Europe & Central Asia


Hostilities with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) remained concentrated in northern Iraq and northern Syria, while govt retained pressure on Islamic State (ISIS) at home and improved ties with regional states. 

Amid clashes with PKK and its affiliates, Ankara engaged with Iraqi authorities and local actors. Military carried out airstrikes targeting PKK in northern Iraq and People’s Protection Units (YPG)/Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) members in northern Syria as well as critical infrastructure belonging to groups. Notably, Turkish defence ministry 4 Feb announced killing or capturing of five PKK fighters in northern Iraq, while Turkish drones 11 Feb struck targets in northern Syria’s Qamishli, killing two high-ranking SDF members (see Iraq and Syria). Meanwhile, Defence Minister Yaşar Güler and Army Chief of Staff Metin Gürak 6 Feb visited Iraq’s capital Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan regional capital Erbil, reportedly to propose new defence treaty that includes measures to safeguard security and strengthen cooperation against PKK. In capital Ankara, FM Fidan 19 Feb met with Falih Alfayyadh, chairperson of Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary coalition Hashd al-Shaabi. 

Authorities conducted operations against alleged ISIS members in Türkiye. Security forces during Feb apprehended over 400 individuals with suspected links to ISIS. Notably, police 13 Feb detained alleged ISIS operative working at Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant construction site, Mersin province, under fake identity. 

Ties with Greece, U.S. and Egypt remained on track for improvement. FM Hakan Fidan 7 Feb said that inherited disputes with Greece can be “set aside” as negotiations on other bilateral issues continue; Fidan and Greek counterpart Giorgos Gerapetritis 18 Feb met on sidelines of Munich Security Conference to discuss progress on bilateral issues and Greek PM Mitsotakis’ upcoming visit to Ankara currently scheduled for later this year. U.S. Congress 10 Feb approved sale of 40 F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernisation kits to Ankara; U.S. ambassador Jeff Flake 13 Feb emphasised Türkiye’s strategic importance. U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Murphy 20-21 Feb visited Ankara and met President Erdoğan and Fidan. Erdoğan 15 Feb visited Egypt for first time since 2013 coup, signalling Ankara’s efforts to normalise ties with former adversaries.

Europe & Central Asia


Islamic State (ISIS) conducted first attack in seven years, killing one and prompting intensified crackdown, while clashes with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) killed over dozen soldiers in Iraq, prompting wave of airstrikes. 

ISIS killed one in first attack since Jan 2017. In first claimed attack on Turkish soil in over seven years, ISIS 28 Jan carried out armed assault on Italian Catholic Church located on outskirts of Istanbul, killing one individual. Subsequently, security forces conducted series of raids in Istanbul, detaining nearly 50 ISIS-linked suspects, including two assailants identified as nationals from Russia and Tajikistan. Detentions brought total number of individuals apprehended by security forces (including foreign nationals) during Jan to 280. Earlier, security units 1 Jan apprehended alleged ISIS ring leader Abdullah al-Jundi in northern Syria. 

Clashes with PKK killed more than a dozen Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq. Late Dec spate of attacks on Turkish troops in northern Iraq continued, as PKK 5 Jan killed five soldiers in attack on military base and clash 12 Jan killed nine Turkish soldiers (see Iraq). In response, military 12-16 Jan launched airstrikes in both northern Iraq and Syria, targeting PKK/People’s Protection Units militants as part of strikes on 114 targets in both countries; military’s intensified shelling in northern Syria marked unusually high level for winter months (see Syria). In south east Türkiye, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya 16 Jan announced security forces had destroyed eighteen PKK winter shelters in drone strikes in rural areas. 

Parliament ratified Sweden’s NATO bid, govt actively engaged abroad. Parliament 23 Jan ratified Sweden’s membership to NATO; Ankara expects U.S. to greenlight sale of F-16s in return. Relations with Greece remained on course for improvement, although Greece’s steps to purchase U.S. jets and combat ships stoked concern in Ankara. Attempting to play constructive role in Ukraine-Russia war (see Ukraine), Erdoğan 5 Jan told Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Türkiye was ready to host peace talks. Govt continued to voice strong opposition to Israel’s war in Gaza (see Israel-Palestine); police 2 Jan detained 34 people on suspicion of working for Israeli intelligence. Iranian President Raisi 24 Jan visited Ankara, meeting President Erdoğan; pair called for end to Israeli attacks in Gaza.

Europe & Central Asia


President Erdoğan’s visit to Greece marked significant improvement in bilateral ties following months of engagement.

Summit in Greece produced numerous agreements. Relations with Greece further improved as Erdoğan and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis 7 Dec met in Greek capital Athens, signing fifteen agreements alongside “Athens Declaration on Friendly Relations and Good Neighbourliness”, committing to military confidence building measures, consultations on political issues and cooperation on issues of mutual interest. Leaders agreed to continue dialogue and spoke of turning Aegean into “sea of peace and cooperation”.

Military clashed with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and affiliates, leaving dozen soldiers dead in Iraq. In Türkiye, security forces 4 Dec killed two wanted PKK militants in rural area of Mardin province. Main focus of anti-militant efforts remained concentrated in northern Iraq and northern Syria, with authorities claiming to have killed, including with targeted strikes, several high-ranking insurgents. In northern Iraq, attacks included 1 Dec drone strike that killed five, while militants 12 Dec killed Turkish second lieutenant. Marking escalation in casualties, clashes with PKK 22-23 Dec killed twelve Turkish soldiers; Turkish Defence Minister 27 Dec said retaliatory attacks struck 71 sites in Iraq and Syria, “neutralising” 59 PKK/People’s Protection Units militants. In Syria, Turkish forces 19 Dec said they had killed seven militants in Türkiye-controlled area.

Tensions continued with Israel and U.S. over Gaza. Ankara continued war of words with Israel over latter’s military campaign in Gaza (see Israel-Palestine); Erdoğan 8 Dec asserted all perpetrators of “genocide” must be punished, including Israeli PM Netanyahu. Events in Gaza also increased strains on U.S.-Türkiye relationship; Erdoğan 8, 14 and 19 Dec criticised Washington’s policy. Turkish parliamentary commission 26 Dec approved Sweden’s NATO membership bid, which awaits parliamentary ratification.

Operations against Islamic State (ISIS) continued. Security forces in Dec detained at least 630 individuals with alleged links to ISIS, marking notable increase compared to Nov. Notably, security forces 29 Dec apprehended three allegedly senior ISIS members and 29 others who were suspected of planning attack on churches and synagogues in Istanbul.

Europe & Central Asia


Authorities continued targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) at home and in Iraq and Syria, while govt continued positive engagement with Greece and rebuked Israel for Gaza onslaught.

Military maintained operations against PKK and affiliates. In Türkiye, police 2 Nov reportedly detained eleven PKK suspects in Istanbul city. IED explosion 4 Nov killed soldier during operation in rural area of eastern Van province. Security forces 5 Nov announced capture of PKK militant on Syrian border. In northern Iraq, defence ministry 13 and 17 Nov claimed operations killed total nineteen PKK members and intelligence services 17 and 20 Nov reportedly eliminated senior PKK members in targeted operations; PKK attack 26 Nov killed three soldiers. In northern Syria, intelligence services same day killed alleged senior People’s Protection Units (YPG) official (see Iraq and Syria).

Dialogue with Greece yielded progress. In first such meeting in three years, Greek diplomatic and military officials 13 Nov visited capital Ankara, agreeing to implement and reactivate numerous confidence-building measures over coming year and establish new dialogue mechanism, marking positive sign ahead of 7 Dec meeting between President Erdoğan and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Greece. Meanwhile, FM Hakan Fidan 2 Nov attended EU enlargement meeting in Berlin. EU 8 Nov released progress report on Türkiye’s candidate status, which noted “democratic backsliding” among list of other concerns; Ankara same day branded report unfair. European Commission and EU High Rep 29 Nov proposed enhanced cooperation in areas such as trade, transport, energy and migration.

Tensions increased with Israel. In protest of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza (see Israel-Palestine), Türkiye 4 Nov recalled ambassador to Israel. Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar 8 Nov announced freeze on energy cooperation until Gaza ceasefire declared. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu 15 Nov labelled President Erdoğan’s criticism over human rights hypocritical, which foreign ministry called “slander”. Erdoğan 20 Nov accused Israel of “genocide” and 29 Nov called Netanyahu “the butcher of Gaza”.

Clampdown on Islamic State (ISIS) continued. Security forces in Nov detained at least 44 individuals with alleged links to ISIS. Notably, authorities 12 Nov detained high-ranking ISIS member in Istanbul.

Europe & Central Asia


Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) carried out first attack in capital Ankara since 2016, prompting retaliatory Turkish strikes in Syria and Iraq; govt engaged regional actors amid Hamas-Israel war.

Military increased strikes on PKK-linked militants after Ankara bombing. After PKK militants 1 Oct conducted suicide bombing in front of interior ministry in Ankara and opened fire on guards, injuring two, govt same day began intensification of retaliatory airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq and People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets in northern Syria (see Iraq and Syria). FM Hakan Fidan 4 Oct declared all PKK and YPG infrastructure are now “legitimate targets”, as subsequent Turkish airstrikes targeted facilities and infrastructure belonging to YPG as well as its members, exacerbating poor humanitarian conditions in Syria. Air campaign in northern Syria triggered tensions between Ankara and Washington after U.S. fighter jet 5 Oct shot down Turkish armed drone; President Erdoğan 10 Oct reacted harshly, accusing U.S. of “training and arming all terrorist groups”.

Govt pursued diplomacy amid Hamas-Israel war. Following outbreak of war between Hamas and Israel on 7 Oct (see Israel-Palestine), govt 10 Oct offered to mediate dispute. Fidan 17 Oct confirmed engagement with Hamas’s political wing for hostage release and held diplomatic talks on war with Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Following 17 Oct Al-Ahli hospital blast in Gaza, Ankara hardened stance: President Erdoğan 25 Oct said they will not tolerate Israel acting like “terrorist organisation”, while Fidan warned of “all-out massacre” amid Israel’s ground offensive. Ankara 30 Oct condemned “in the strongest terms Israel’s attack on the Gaza Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital”.

Bilateral ties with Greece remained on track to improve. Deputy FM Burak Akcapar 16-17 Oct met Greek counterpart Konstantinos Fragogiannis in Greek capital Athens for talks, which included discussions on providing “concrete outcomes” for fifth High-Level Cooperation Council to be headed by Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Erdoğan on 7 Dec. Greece and govt 23 Oct agreed to cooperate against migrant trafficking.

Operations against Islamic State (ISIS) continued. Security forces in Oct detained at least 160 individuals with alleged links to ISIS during Oct.

Europe & Central Asia


Military targeted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in southeast, northern Syria and northern Iraq, while ties with Greece continued positive trajectory and govt engaged EU and Russia.

Military continued operations against PKK. In rural Diyarbakir province, security forces 18 Sept reportedly killed four high-ranking PKK members. In Iraq, clashes 6 Sept killed Turkish soldier; authorities from Iraq’s Kurdistan region 17 Sept reported Turkish drone strikes killed four PKK members near Sinjar mountains (see Iraq). In northern Syria, drone strikes 17 Sept killed five Syrian Democratic Forces members in Hasakah and 19 Sept killed high-ranking People’s Protection Units (YPG) member in Manbij (see Syria). In first attack in Ankara since 2016, PKK militants 1 Oct conducted suicide bombing in front of interior ministry and opened fire on guards, injuring two; in retaliation, military launched airstrikes in northern Syria and northern Iraq and staged wave of raids across Turkish provinces (await next month’s edition for full coverage).

Relations with Greece remained on course to improve. Greek FM Giorgos Gerapetritis 5 Sept met Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan in Ankara, where pair agreed to seek “new approaches” to resolving issues in Aegean. Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis 17 Sept reiterated importance of dialogue for maritime delimitation, adding that issues of sovereignty will not be negotiated. Mitsotakis and President Erdoğan 20 Sept met on sidelines of UN General Assembly, agreeing to resume 2022 confidence building talks. Mitsotakis next day said geopolitical tensions remain but there has been “good progress” in normalisation.

Govt continued engagement with EU and Russia. EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi 5 Sept visited Ankara and announced several financial aid packages. Responding to European Parliament’s report on 14 Sept that criticised govt’s democracy record, Erdoğan 16 Sept said Türkiye could “part ways” with the EU if necessary but backtracked on 18 Sept, noting “window of opportunity” for revitalising ties. Meanwhile, talks with Russia to reinvigorate Black Sea Grain Deal continued but meeting between Erdoğan and Russian President Putin 4 Sept ended without breakthrough.

Crackdown on Islamic State-linked individuals continued. Security forces during Sept detained at least 125 individuals with alleged links to ISIS.

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