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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump has declared his own "Mission Accomplished," with the U.S. set to withdraw from Syria despite concerns from the national security community and many Republicans.

Why it matters: "Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the region — and disregarding the advice of his top national security officials," WashPost columnist Josh Rogin writes.

Details: There aren't a lot, at least not yet.

  • The White House declined to elaborate on how many troops are in Syria, how many are coming home, or when.
  • "The issue here is that the president has made a decision and so previous statements ... he gets to do that. That's his prerogative," a senior administration official told reporters.
  • The Pentagon is similarly short on details.
  • There are estimated to be around 2,000 U.S. personnel in Syria, and there are plenty of ongoing strikes against ISIS, which Trump claimed is defeated.

What they're saying:

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to Trump's tweet: "This is simply not true."
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): "Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake."

The other side:

  • Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted: "Both the Trump and Obama Administrations in Syria went far beyond the congressionally authorized use of force to go after terrorists. ... I am pleased [Trump] is bringing our troops home."
  • Obama's first Syria ambassador, Robert Ford, to Axios' Haley Britzky: "I'm not a big supporter of Donald Trump, but in this case he's making the right call. ... The U.S. has no huge national security interests in northeastern Syria."

The bigger geopolitical picture:

Russia's U.S. embassy has tweeted praise for the move, and Charles Lister of the Middle East Institute tells Axios it's also "the greatest gift and insurance policy that ISIS could have wished for."

  • As for U.S.' Kurdish allies, who have been instrumental in fighting ISIS in Syria but are seen as a major threat by Turkey, Lister says: "It’s a sad state of affairs when our key allies on the ground, who’ve shed blood and thousands of lives for our fight against ISIS, are to be well and truly abandoned."
  • Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have offered Trump a deal, says Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute: "I know you don't want to stay in Syria, why don't you let me handle this?"
  • "Iran is one of the biggest beneficiaries of this U.S. decision," adds Behnam Ben Taleblu of the Foundation for Defense Democracies.
  • As for the Assad regime, the White House made clear that toppling Syria's dictator was never one of its military objectives.

Flashback: Just Monday, Trump's special representative for Syria engagement said Assad won't be able to wait out a U.S. exit. “I think if that’s [Assad's] strategy, he’s going to have to wait a very long time."

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Go deeper

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight, hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts on Wednesday.

The big picture: Officials in the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley issued air quality alerts as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.