An image grab taken from a video obtained by AFPTV shows US troops gathered at the scene of a suicide attack in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Four Americans were killed and three wounded during an explosion in Manbij, Syria, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

Details: The Islamic State, or ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the attack. According to CENTCOM, the Americans killed included two service members, one Defense Department civilian and one contractor.

The big picture: The Trump administration began the process for withdrawing its 2,000 troops in Syria last week. President Trump has spent the past few months downplaying the threat of ISIS in Syria and the need for an ongoing U.S. military presence in the country.

  • About an hour after officials confirmed U.S. troops were killed, Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech declaring that "ISIS has been defeated," CNN reports. He reportedly did not mention the attack or offer his condolences.

Go deeper: The U.S. is leaving Syria, and will stay as long as it takes

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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