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U.S. and Turkish military vehicles take part in a joint operation in northern Syria. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. began pulling out its troops from northern Syria near the Turkish border on Monday, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The U.S. had been trying for months to broker a truce between two allies, Turkey and the Kurdish fighters in the region, after the defeat of ISIS, but this decision effectively removes the U.S. from the equation.

Between the lines, from Axios White House editor Margaret Talev:

  • Trump's policy change could be deadly news for the Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, who have been U.S. partners in the fight against ISIS.
  • The Kurds have long feared Turkey would cross the border and kill them if U.S. troops left Syria.

Former national security adviser John Bolton insisted months ago that the U.S. drawdown would need an agreement by Turks that protected America's Kurdish partners. But Turkey bristled at that — and Bolton is no longer in his job.

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - World

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Maxine Waters offers right-wing alternative universe for Chauvin trial

Data: Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer; Chart: Axios Visuals

While Fox News has largely ignored the Derek Chauvin trial compared to competitors, conservative media seized on comments from Rep. Maxine Waters over the weekend, making it the single biggest trial storyline on social media since it began on March 29, according to NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

Why it matters: The data shows that for conservative America, the story in Minneapolis is being used as a way to highlight the aggression of protesters rather than the police killing of a Black man.

28 mins ago - World

China leads the world with new state-backed digital currency

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

In a push to dominate global financial technology, the Chinese government is aiming to roll out the world's first state-backed digital currency.

Why it matters: China's new currency could set global standards for the use of national digital currencies — and give Beijing unprecedented visibility and control over domestic financial transactions.