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.

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U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.