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.

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health