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Locals welcome Syrian regime forces as they arrive at the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on Monday. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad deployed troops near the border with Turkey to stave off the Turkish offensive on Monday, state media reports — hours after the primarily Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces struck a deal with his regime.

Why it matters: The move raises concerns of a potential battle between Turkey and Syria. The Kurdish fighters, who were allied with the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State, entered the previously unthinkable alliance with Assad after President Trump decided to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria ahead of the military action announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

  • There has been a strong bipartisan backlash against Trump's decision, with many accusing the president of abandoning a key ally. Assad is backed by Russia and Iran.

What's happening: The Syrian state-run SANA news agency posted images to its website in a report stating that Syrian army units had entered the predominantly Assyrian Christian town of Tal Tamr, about 12 miles from the Turkish border, in Hasaka "to face Turkish aggression." The area had been under Kurdish control for 7 years.

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.