Mar 15, 2017

1000 more U.S. troops will deploy to Syria for Raqqa offensive

Arab 24 network, via AP

The new deployment, which would almost double the number of U.S. forces in Syria, is in the planning stages, according to the U.S. defense officials who tipped off The Washington Post. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Trump still have to approve the deployment, which General Joseph Votel proposed.

Why now: The deployment to northern Syria, which could take place in the coming weeks, would be to bolster the current U.S. operation on the ground in advance of an offensive on Raqqa. If deployed, these troops would reportedly focus on advisement roles and offer expertise on bomb disposal and air support coordination for the U.S.-backed Kurds and Arabs.

Why this matters: This increases the potential for U.S. combat involvement in Syria. The U.S. has already deployed Marine artillery, Army Rangers, and other forces, a step which Obama avoided. Limits on the number of troops that Obama put in place might be lifted soon.

Go deeper

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump

Twitter came under fire on Tuesday for allowing President Trump to tweet conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough and the 2001 death of one of his staffers, despite the objections of the staffer's family. The company came under further fire from Trump himself for fact-checking two of his tweets about mail-in voting.

Dan and the New York Times' Kara Swisher dig into Trump’s use of the platform and Twitter’s steps — and missteps — in handling it.

Go deeper: Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

6 mins ago - Technology

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,618,829 — Total deaths: 351,146 — Total recoveries — 2,311,404Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,681,793 — Total deaths: 98,933 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Tech: Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next
  5. Business: Boeing to lay off 6,770 more U.S. employees.
  6. 🏒Sports: NHL unveils 24-team playoff plan to return from hiatus.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday the city will start to lift coronavirus restrictions on May 29 after seeing a 14-day decline in community spread of the virus. The city’s current stay-at-home and business closure orders were set to run through June 8.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from the novel coronavirus and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.