Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's abrupt withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria is forcing the Pentagon to acknowledge the possible revival of an Islamic State sanctuary that could be used to carry out attacks throughout the Middle East and West, reports Politico.

Between the lines: While the Department of Defense is considering options such as drone campaigns and commando raids, it would be difficult to trail and gain intelligence on ISIS members without troops on the ground, per Politico.

What they're saying:

  • Retired lieutenant general Michael Nagata told Politico, "Our goal was the defeat of the Islamic State, and they’re undefeated. Given how dramatically the strategic situation has now changed, the [U.S.-led] coalition may now have to recalibrate. Defeat has just become a much more difficult goal.”
  • Eric Robinson, an Army veteran formerly with the National Counterterrorism Center, said, "There’s a direct relationship between presence on the ground and understanding the potential danger. The unknown will be the capability and intent of the Islamic State in northeastern Syria to conduct external operations. Our ability to understand that has just been dramatically reduced," per Politico.

Go deeper... Trump on potential ISIS escapees: "They will be escaping to Europe"

Go deeper

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.