Jacquelyn Martin / AP

As part of the U.S.-backed effort to capture Mosul, ISIS surrendered Baaj in northwest Iraq this weekend, which U.S. and Iraqi sources believe was a hideout for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, per Reuters.

Why it matters: This is another indication that ISIS's control of northern Iraq is dissipating (after losing Falluja, Tikrit, Ramadi, and most of Mosul). ISIS held Baaj since mid-2014 and Islamic militants controlled it for 14 years.

What it means: The fight against ISIS is going to shift to Syria; ISIS remains in only a couple urban centers in Iraq now, a spokesperson for the DOD confirmed to Axios.

Complicating factor: Iran is aiding in the campaign to gain land in northern Iraq to establish a military supply route for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Last month, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the U.S. "will never work with the Assad regime."

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Federal coronavirus aid for airlines expires on Thursday with no renewal in sight, meaning massive layoffs for the industry aren't far behind.

The big picture: Airline workers aren't alone on the unemployment line. Oil companies, tire manufacturers, book publishers and insurers are among those that have announced tens of thousands of layoffs. Federal aid through the CARES Act earlier this year delayed most layoffs — until now.

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