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Mourners attend a funeral for Kurdish political leader Hevrin Khalaf and others including civilians and Kurdish fighters in the northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Derik. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

The primarily Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, has struck a deal with the Syrian government to help protect the northeastern Syrian border against a military offensive by Turkey, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria ahead of a military incursion announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has caused intense bipartisan backlash, with many accusing Trump of abandoning an ally. The deal will result in forces loyal to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is also backed by Russia and Iran, returning to areas that had been under Kurdish control for 7 years.

The big picture: Earlier on Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that the U.S. would relocate 1,000 troops from northeastern Syria as fighting escalated.

  • Esper has insisted that the U.S. was not abandoning the Kurds, but the deal struck with Assad's government suggests the SDF no longer believes it can depend on the U.S. for protection.
  • Trump told a conference of Christian conservatives on Saturday that the Kurds are "fighting for their land" and that the U.S. doesn't have an obligation to protect them: "I don’t think our soldiers should be there for the next 50 years guarding a border between Turkey and Syria when we can’t guard our own borders at home."
Expand chart
Data: Conflict Monitor by IHS Markit as of Oct. 7; Map: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Go deeper:

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By the numbers: Census to show first decline of white population

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Brookings Institute; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The latest census is expected to show the first decline in history for the nation's non-Hispanic white population, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

Why it matters: The U.S. is rapidly moving toward a majority-minority population — with the racial and ethnic diversity most apparent in younger cohorts. "This really is moving in a direction that’s going to favor the issues and the political agendas of these younger people," Frey told Axios.

Democrats plot filibuster workarounds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several Democratic lawmakers are moving away from calls to eliminate the filibuster while privately discussing alternatives to bypass it, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: These talks have ramped up in earnest following the Republicans’ move Tuesday to block a measure to protect and expand voting rights.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Infrastructure's remaining potholes

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

President Biden declared victory in announcing the bipartisan infrastructure package. Now comes the hard part: negotiating with his own party on the separate reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: By trying to simultaneously pass two massive spending bills, Biden and congressional leaders are attempting a legislative feat that will likely require Congress to work through its August recess — and potentially well into the fall, according to lawmakers and senior staffers.