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Photo: Turkish Armed Forces/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Journalists reported hearing artillery in the Kurdish-held Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn into Friday afternoon, one day after a ceasefire agreement was brokered, AP and the New York Times report.

Where it stands: Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces say Turkey is violating the ceasefire, and wants a safe route established to evacuate those wounded, reports Bloomberg. The Kurdish forces also "demand the U.S. side to abide by it and also pressure the Turkish side to open the corridor."

  • But by Friday evening local time, clashes reportedly quieted, and President Trump said that Turkish President Erdoğan told him "minor sniper and mortar fire ... was quickly eliminated."

What's next: The Wall Street Journal and AP report that there are no signs of Kurdish forces leaving a 20-mile buffer or "safe zone" in northern Syria that was allotted to Turkey in its cease-fire agreement with the U.S.

  • Erdoğan has maintained that its military operation into Syria will resume in 4 days unless Kurdish fighters vacate the zone.
  • The New York Times reported Friday that Kurdish forces began pulling out of the zone, citing U.S. and Turkish officials.

What they're saying: “A buffer zone is acceptable to the Kurds but a military occupation that displaces hundreds of thousands is not a safe zone. It is ethnic cleansing," GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Friday, after a phone call with General Mazloum Abdi of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The impact: "At least 436 combatants and civilians have been killed since the beginning of the Turkish operation" as of Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Go deeper: Pence announces Turkey has agreed to temporary ceasefire in Syria

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
23 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.