A refugee camp outside of Damascus. Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

Brett McGurk, the former envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition who resigned after President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from Syria, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Friday that Trump's decision is giving ISIS "new life," and that hopes for Syria "are dead."

The big picture: Trump's decision to pull troops from Syria sent shockwaves through the national security community and led to the resignation of both McGurk and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. McGurk writes that Trump's assertion that ISIS was defeated was "not true," and that his decision to leave Syria "was made without deliberation, consultation with allies or Congress, assessment of risk, or appreciation of facts."

Other highlights:

  • "I returned to Washington immediately to help mitigate the fallout from this decision, particularly among our coalition partners, all of whom we had just assured — on instructions from the White House — that we had no intent to leave Syria anytime soon. ... My counterparts in coalition capitals were bewildered. Our fighting partners in the SDF, whom I had visited regularly on the ground in Syria, expressed shock and then denial, hoping Trump would change his mind."
  • "Two days after Pompeo's call, Trump tweeted, 'We have defeated ISIS in Syria.' But that was not true. ... Days later, he claimed that Saudi Arabia had 'now agreed to spend the necessary money needed to help rebuild Syria.' But that wasn’t true, either, as the Saudis later confirmed. Trump also suggested that U.S. military forces could leave Syria within 30 days, which was logistically impossible."
  • "Our partners will stop listening and make decisions that run contrary to our interests. Our adversaries will play for time, knowing the United States is on its way out. The Islamic State and other extremist groups will fill the void opened by our departure, regenerating their capacity to threaten our friends in Europe — as they did throughout 2016 — and ultimately our own homeland."

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

Go deeper

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules on Monday to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate, AP reports.

Why it matters: In the September debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden's 22 interruptions of Trump.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.

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