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Mazloum Kobani. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

Mazloum Kobani, the commander in chief of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), told Defense One on Monday that President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. military from northern Syria will "jeopardize all the achievements we have made with the coalition against ISIS."

"If this decision is implemented, of course a fight is going to erupt between us and the Turks in the northern border. If our partners and our allies don’t put big pressure on Turkey, it is only a matter of days. ... This will lead to a security vacuum that ISIS will take advantage of and which will be in the ISIS interest."

Why it matters: Trump's announcement has been met with bipartisan backlash in Washington, with many under the assumption that a U.S. exit will give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the green light to launch a military offensive against the mostly Kurdish SDF militia, which Turkey views as a terrorist organization.

  • The SDF bore the brunt of casualties during the war against the Islamic State, or ISIS, with more than 10,000 killed as the U.S. largely avoided a presence on the ground, per Defense One.
  • The SDF is also currently holding about 11,000 ISIS detainees. A Turkish incursion — which the SDF has claimed would result in "all-out war" — could pull their forces away from prison camps and the ongoing campaign against ISIS.

Go deeper: U.S. exit from Syria leaves civilians and Kurdish fighters at risk

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Twitter sues Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Twitter on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), saying that his office launched an investigation into the social media giant because it banned former President Trump from its platform.

Driving the news: Twitter is seeking to halt an investigation launched by Paxton into moderation practices by Big Tech firms including Twitter for what he called "the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President," days after they banned him following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

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