In an interview with Jonathan Swan for "Axios on HBO," Iraqi President Barham Salih said the U.S. withdrawal in Syria has led to a "perfect storm" in the Middle East.

The big picture: President Trump's abrupt withdrawal of American troops in northern Syria earlier this month has left the region in disarray, with Turkish forces invading when not bound by ceasefire agreements. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds are being displaced.

  • Iraq shares a border with both Turkey and Syria, and, as Salih told "Axios on HBO," there are "still elements of ISIS roaming between the Iraqi and Syrian border."
  • "This new dynamic in Syria is unleashing these groups, empowering them to consolidate and really take us on," Salih added.

What they're saying:

"I'm here in Baghdad. This is where all these issues are at play. This is quite a moment in history. This is in some ways the perfect storm."
— Barham Salih to "Axios on HBO"
  • "I am very concerned, deeply concerned. What concerns me deeply, what is happening in Syria. Not just in Syria but also in Iraq. The implications are huge," Salih added.

Go deeper: U.S. troops move to eastern Syria to execute oil field protection plan

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Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks

Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Several Republican senators defended Anthony Fauci after a string of attacks in recent days from President Trump, who has called the government's top infectious-disease expert "a disaster" and falsely claimed that he's a Democrat.

Why it matters: As polls indicate warning signs for both Trump and down-ballot Republicans, more GOP leaders are urging the president to stop downplaying the pandemic and to listen to advice from public health experts. Fauci is one of the most trusted voice in the country on coronavirus issues.

Senate to vote on Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 26

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol on Oct. 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next Monday, Oct. 26, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this Thursday to advance Barrett's nomination to the full Senate floor. Democrats have acknowledged that there's nothing procedurally they can do to stop Barrett's confirmation, which will take place just one week out from Election Day.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.