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Syria Democratic Forces / AP

Syrian troops, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, have begun an operation designed to capture Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State. Details, sourced from multiple media reports:

  • The Syrian force is called the SDF, via AP: "Talal Sillo, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told reporters Tuesday that operations have begun in coordination with the U.S.-led coalition... Raqqa is currently surrounded from the east, north and west..."
  • Details on the it, from BBC: "The SDF, which is says it is not aligned with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad or the rebel forces seeking to overthrow him, has driven IS from about [2,300 square miles] of northern Syria over the past year."
  • Quote from SDF spokesman to Al Jazeera: "In addition to warplanes, there are coalition forces working side by side with the Syrian Democratic Forces."

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How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.

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  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
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