Feb 23, 2018

Report: Kremlin, Assad alerted before attack on U.S. troops in Syria

Prigozhin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch who controls a mercenary force in Syria, was communicating with Syrian officials and the Kremlin "days and weeks before and after" an attack on U.S. and Syrian Democratic Forces earlier this month, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: This could indicate that the Kremlin signed off on an attack against U.S. troops in Syria that left scores of Russians dead and threatens to raise military tensions to new heights. It also adds to the intrigue surrounding Prigozhin, a Putin ally who was indicted by Robert Mueller for operating the Russian "troll farm" that carried out online election interference.

In an intercepted January cable to a Syrian official, Prigozhin said he had "secured permission" from a Russian minister for a “fast and strong” initiative in early February, per the Post.

  • The attack "marked the biggest direct challenge to the U.S. military presence in eastern Syria" since the U.S. "began deploying there in 2015," per the Post.
  • Big picture: The U.S. retaliated against pro-regime forces because they crossed the deconfliction line that was agreed upon by U.S. and Russian forces. And, U.S. forces were in communication with Russian officials before, during, and after the attack.

Go deeper: Read the full Washington Post report.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor from delaying state's primary

Tony Evers. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin's Supreme Court on Monday blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that attempted to delay in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Driving the news: Judges ruled 4-2 along ideological lines that Evers does not have the power as governor to unilaterally postpone the election, despite the fact that the state has a stay-at-home order in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 37 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,331,032 — Total deaths: 73,917 — Total recoveries: 275,851Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 356,942 — Total deaths: 10,524 — Total recoveries: 18,999Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin governor orders in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  5. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  6. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Stocks jump 7% despite bleak coronavirus projections

People passing by the New York Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.

Why it matters: The huge market surge comes amid rare optimistic signs that the spread of the coronavirus may be slowing in parts of the country, including New York. But government officials say this will be a difficult week, while economists — including former Fed chair Janet Yellen today — warn that the pandemic could have a catastrophic impact on the global economy.