Syria accused of war crimes by Amnesty International

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The Syrian government has been accused of war crimes and adopting a scorched earth policy by the human rights group, Amnesty International.

The group says the regime is deliberately ravaging some areas, killing or torturing civilians, shooting livestock and burning crops and homes.

Amnesty said its researchers had spoken to more than 200 residents in 23 Syrian towns and villages since the middle of April.

The claims come as an open diplomatic row intensifies between Russia and the United States over arms exports to the region.

Tom Esslemont reports.

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