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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

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Crypto meets the real world

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The two largest countries in the world seem intent on effectively banning their citizens from participating in crypto, which poses a serious threat to the crypto agenda.

Why it matters: The crypto world is global — but the real world is fragmented into nation-states, each of which claims control of what happens within its borders.

Meadows cooperating with House Jan. 6 select committee

Mark Meadows. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the panel said Tuesday.

Driving the news: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel earlier this month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.