Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday the U.S. has been "discouraging the Kurds from dialogue" with the Syrian government and sowing “separatist sentiment” among them, per the AP. Lavrov said this shows a “lack of understanding of the situation or a deliberate provocation” and urged all involved parties to recognize Syria’s sovereignty.

Why it matters: This comes as Turkey is launching an offensive to boot out Kurdish forces with links to the U.S. in Syria over the weekend, and Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said Turkey has an agreement with Russia over the assault. The U.S. detailed plans last week to continue backing Kurdish forces in the region to ensure that ISIS or other rogue elements don’t regain control of the territory, setting up fuel for the showdown to continue.

Now that ISIS lacks a physical caliphate in the region, the powers with overlapping and conflicting interests in the region are butting heads — not that they weren’t before. The conflict now is taking on a different form, one in which the various parties in Syria tend to disagree about Syria’s future, in which a political solution post-ISIS remains to be determined, and on top of all that, the war is ongoing. These tensions will only ramp up from here.

Keep in mind...

  • Russia supports a Syrian future with President Bashar al-Assad in power.
  • Iran has been backing Assad as well.
  • Turkey's Erdogan broke with Russia and Iran last month when he called Assad a terrorist and questioned whether there could be a political solution involving the president.
  • The U.S. has said there is no future for Assad in Syria, but has also said the future of Syria must be determined by the Syrian people.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.