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FEATURING KHURY PETERSEN-SMITH – Amnesty International released a major report on Thursday about US-led massacres of more than 1,600 civilians in Raqqa, Syria from June to October of 2017. The report, entitled, “Rhetoric Versus Reality in the War in Raqqa,” found that the US and its allies bombed Raqqa indiscriminately in order to oust the Islamic State. Whole families were wiped out and the US has yet to acknowledge its role or the extent of the loss of life.

Earlier in the week a new UN report on the Afghanistan war concluded that US-backed Afghan government forces along with US and other foreign troops were responsible for killing more Afghan civilians in the first 3 months of this year than the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

And on Tuesday US-ally and weapons buyer Saudi Arabia beheaded 37 of its citizens in a mass execution for what it called “terrorism-related crimes.” AP reported that the Saudis’ medieval-style justice included, “publicly pinning one of the bodies and its severed head to a pole as a warning to others.” Saudi Arabia continues to bombard neighboring Yemen with US bought weapons and US military advice.

Khury Petersen-Smith, Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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