The Trump administration has "started returning" U.S. troops from Syria after a determination that it has "defeated the territorial caliphate" of the Islamic State, or ISIS, according to a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. She added that the country stands "ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary."

The big picture: Sanders' announcement comes after multiple media outlets reported that President Trump decided to pull all U.S. troops from Syria and the president tweeted that defeating ISIS was "the only reason" to have U.S. troops on the ground. More than 2,000 American military personnel are currently there. Leaving Syria after ISIS' defeat has previously been championed by Trump. He issued a surprise announcement back in March — much to the chagrin of many of his closest aides and later publicly softened — that U.S. personnel would leave the country "very soon."

Sanders' full statement:

"Five years ago, ISIS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate. These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign. We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign. The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
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EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Belarus riot police detain protesters in Minsk on Tuesday. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union warned Tuesday it could reimpose sanctions on Belarus as riot police clashed for a third night with demonstrators protesting this week's elections that the EU described as "neither free nor fair," per the Guardian.

Why it matters: The EU removed most sanctions against Belarus four years ago, after "Europe's last dictator" Alexander Lukashenko released political prisoners and permitted protests, AP notes. The EU said in a statement Tuesday it would be "conducting an in-depth review" into its relations with former Soviet country over his elections win claim and the deadly crackdown on protesters.

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.