Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told the Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., an annual conference of Christian conservatives, that he feels like he's on an "island of one" over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. But he said the U.S. has to "bring our great heroes" home.

Why it matters: Trump has faced criticism from some Republicans and religious conservatives concerned that he's "left Kurdish Christians open to Turkey’s military offensive," per the Washington Post. Turkey launched a military offensive soon after the president announced the withdrawal.

  • Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, a retired 4-star general, told NBC News that the Islamic State, or ISIS, militant group "will resurge" unless the U.S. keeps up pressure in northern Syria.

The big picture: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are drafting a bipartisan bill to sanction Turkey for attacking the primarily Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, which partnered with the U.S. in 2015 in the fight against ISIS.

  • Graham told Axios' Jonathan Swan this week that Trump was "putting the nation at risk, and I think he's putting his presidency at risk."

What he's saying: Trump told the Value Voters Summit that the Kurdish forces "are fighting for their land." "They haven’t help us fight for our land," he said. "They’re fighting for their land and that’s good, but we’ve helped 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."

Go deeper: Syria decision exposes Trump to political peril

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

3 hours ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China