Armored vehicles of Turkish and U.S. troops in northern Syria. Photo: Turkish Armed Forces/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. military has begun the process for withdrawing its 2,000 troops in Syria, Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, told the AP.

Details: A defense official told the AP that no troops have been withdrawn yet, but equipment is being pulled out. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which covers the Syrian war from the ground, says a convoy of armored vehicles left a northeastern town in Syria on Thursday night.

The big picture: Trump's tweet announcing that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria was met with widespread backlash from congressional Republicans and Democrats as well as defense experts. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned shortly after, and Turkey has threatened to attack the Kurds. Trump has since agreed to withdraw at a slower pace, instead of in 30 days.

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Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.