Children of war in Syria and Iraq. Photo by Afshin Ismaeli/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The devastating conflict in Syria has claimed civilian lives not only as unintended collateral, but as deliberate targets of "unlawful methods of warfare" by all sides, according to a new report from the United Nations.

Based on more than 500 interviews, the 37-page report alleges, among other things, that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces actively conscript children as young as 13 for military service.

The details:

  • Between July 2017 and January 2018, men and children conscripted by the SDF were given basic training and deployed to active frontlines against their will.
  • Journalists and activists have repeatedly been intimidated and arrested for reporting on violations by the SDF. In several instances, the SDF arbitrarily detained relatives of activists in order to apply pressure on them.

Meanwhile, several of the violations by ISIL and pro-Government forces documented by the U.N. commission constitute war crimes, including...

  • ISIL's use of trapped residents in Raqqa as human shields.
  • The use of cluster munitions and other indiscriminate weapons in civilian-populated areas.
  • Starvation as a method of warfare.
  • The deliberate targeting of medical infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.