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Turkish Army tanks reinforcing border units in Hatay, Turkey. Photo: Cem Genco / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Turkey’s defense minister said Friday an onslaught of Turkish military shelling targeting Syrian Kurds in northwest Syria has “de facto” begun, per the AP.

Why it matters: This implicates the U.S. interests in the region since the U.S. has backed the Syrian Kurds as part of its fight to root out ISIS from Syria. The announcement comes a day after Turkish military and intelligence leaders discussed the plan in Moscow.

The setup: Turkey has been loading up its border with Syria with tanks for weeks now. Syria said Thursday it would shoot down Turkish jets that attack in Syria. Turkey views Syrian Kurds, or People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a terrorist organization.

Context:

  • The offensive will be carried out by Syrian opposition fighters with support from Turkish troops.
  • The defense minister would not say when it would begin.

Go deeper

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.