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Refugees wait near to enter Europe near Turkey's border with Greece. Photo: Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced he opened Turkey's border with Europe on Saturday — turning a longstanding threat into a reality, AP reports.

The state of play: The move appears to be an attempt to pressure European countries to support Erdoğan's military efforts in Idlib as operations from Turkish, Russian and Syrian forces escalate. Erdoğan has called on European nations to support the 3.6 million displaced Syrian refugees in Turkey, The New York Times reports.

Nearly 4,000 migrants have gathered at the Turkey-Greece border to try to enter Europe, per the Times, with another 500 caught between the two border posts. Migrants, assisted by Turkish authorities, traveled by sea toward the Turkish coast in hopes of reaching the Greek islands, though few have reportedly arrived.

  • Greece responded to the incoming refugees at its border by firing tear gas, with its government claiming it "will do whatever it takes to protect its borders," Reuters reports.
"We will not close the gates to refugees. The European Union has to keep its promises. We are not obliged to look after and feed so many refugees. If you're honest, if you're sincere, then you need to share."
— President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a speech Saturday, per AP

The big picture: Military escalations in Idlib could add to the ongoing humanitarian crisis as at least 950,000 displaced civilians make their way to the Syrian-Turkish border, AP notes.

  • The chaos in Idlib could mean Turkey will face new international pressure to open its sealed border with Syria to offer the refugees relief.

Context: In 2016, Turkey agreed to accept Syrian refugees in exchange for the European Union's financial support. Erdoğan claims the EU has not held up its end of the deal, according to AP.

Go deeper: Syria's Idlib offensive forces civilians to flee, pits Turkey against Russia

Go deeper

CDC: Vaccinated people in COVID hotspots should resume wearing masks

CDC director Rochelle Walensky and top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci at a Senate HELP committee hearing. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on Tuesday recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings if they are in parts of the U.S. with substantial to high transmission, among other circumstances.

Why it matters: The guidance, a reversal from recommendations made two months ago, comes as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country. Millions of people in the U.S. — either by choice or who are ineligible — remain unvaccinated and at risk of serious infection.

Scoop: 50,000 migrants released; few report to ICE

A law enforcement officer walks to meet migrants crossed the Rio Grande River illegally last month. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

About 50,000 migrants who crossed the southern border illegally have now been released in the United States without a court date. Although they are told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office instead, just 13% have shown up so far, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The sizable numbers are a sign of just how overwhelmed some sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border continue to be: A single stretch covering the Rio Grande Valley had 20,000 apprehensions in a week. The figures also show the shortcomings of recent emergency decisions to release migrants.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Israel launches maximum pressure campaign against Ben & Jerry's

A Ben & Jerry's store in Yavne, Israel. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty

The Israeli government has formed a special task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's ice cream and its parent company Unilever to reverse their decision to boycott Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is concerned the move by Ben & Jerry's will encourage other international companies to take similar steps to differentiate between Israel and the West Bank settlements. A classified Foreign Ministry cable, seen by Axios, makes clear the government wants to send a message.