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Since President Trump took office, the U.S. has carried out more airstrikes in more places, expanded its use of drones and been increasingly willing to risk civilian casualties.
The bottom line: Under Barack Obama, the U.S. pounded ISIS from the air and made heavy use of drones. Trump seems to have taken those tactics into hyperdrive in pursuit of shock, awe and a quick victory. With a flood of other news to sift through, America has hardly noticed the shift.
By the numbers: The U.S.-led coalition carried out nearly 12,000 airstrikes (manned and unmanned) in Iraq and Syria last year. The uptick, which has since subsided, corresponded with a spike in civilian casualties.
Rachel Stohl of the Stimson Center writes for Axios Expert Voices that Trump has made U.S. drone policy "less restrained, transparent and accountable."
A recent Amnesty International report, which has drawn vehement objections from the Pentagon, accuses the U.S. of possible war crimes over "indiscriminate" attacks in the battle last year to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS.
The assault on ISIS has had major successes. Both Raqqa and Mosul fell to U.S.-backed forces last year.
Trump's press conference following the summit. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Axios contributor Barak Ravid obtained a classified report from Israel's foreign ministry which raises doubts over President Trump's optimistic statements about his summit with Kim Jong-un, and determines the U.S. retreated from its positions on several issues.
Main points from the report:
What to watch: In a defensive press conference yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expects North Korea to take major steps toward denuclearization by the end of Trump's first term. Meanwhile, Asian leaders are moving toward engagement with North Korea, in another sign that the era of "maximum pressure" is over.
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Wednesday launched the "largest assault of Yemen's war" for the port city of Hudaydah, Axios' Haley Britzky writes.
A protest against rape culture in Mumbai. Photo: Praful Gangurde/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
India is the world’s largest democracy, a hub for economic growth and innovation, and, by some measures, one of the worst places on earth to be a woman, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
Go deeper: Read Erica's full report.
1. Macedonia's prime minister reached a deal with Greece to change his country's name to the Republic of Northern Macedonia and therby end a 27-year dispute that has seen Athens keep its neighbor out of NATO and the EU. The reason? Greeks see "Macedonia" as closely linked to their history.
2. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is attempting to stave off a crisis within her new ruling coalition amid a dispute with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, from the allied Christian Social Union (CSU) party, who is demanding a harder line on migration.
3. The World Cup opened today in Russia with a 5-0 drubbing of Saudi Arabia by the hosts. In a news dump of epic proportions, the Kremlin announced it would be raising the retirement age to 65 for men and 63 for women (increases of 5 and 8 years), as well as increasing the value-added tax.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Russian President Vladimir Putin watch the opening ceremony. Photo: Alexey DruzhininAFP/Getty Images
World Cup fever doesn't seem to have reached Washington, but Martin Aguirre, who has just returned to Uruguay after a fellowship at Axios, emails:
Tomorrow's games (Eastern): Egypt vs. Uruguay (8am), Morocco vs. Iran (11am), Portugal vs. Spain (2pm).
A man from the Hui Muslim after breaking his fast during Ramadan in Beijing. Today is the last day of Ramadan. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
"A lot of leaders of different countries have visited Singapore, but it is unprecedented in the history of Singapore to have streets filled with the welcoming crowd like this."— Narrator in a North Korean documentary of the Trump-Kim summit.
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