Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

This graphic, based on data released by the Department of Defense, shows how the U.S. military's focus has shifted over more than three years of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

The big picture: “ISIS has largely been eliminated as a terrain-holding organization," according to Chris Kozak, senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. But the larger truth that the data doesn't show, he said, is that ISIS "still retains the willpower and safe haven to regrow and potentially regain" the territory it has lost.

Expand chart
Expand chart
Data: Operation Inherent Resolve; Get the data. Maps: Harry Stevens/Axios

How we got the data: We wrote software to scan through more than three years' worth of press releases issued by the Department of Defense, and parsed each release to collect detailed information about the location of every airstrike. The resulting data is publicly available here.

What to look for:

  • Through 2015 and 2016, areas near the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Ramadi bore the brunt of the bombings. By the end of 2016, the U.S. military had shifted much of its focus to Syria.
  • For 11 straight months — from December 2016 to October 2017 — areas near Raqqa, Syria, were the primary target for U.S. airstrikes. After ISIS was forced out of Raqqa, U.S. military focus on the region swiftly shifted.
  • The focus of airstrikes has recently shifted to one of the last remaining pockets of ISIS fighters along the Iraq and Syria border, near Abu Kamal.

Between the lines: Kozak told Axios that many of OIR's reports name a largely-populated city as the focus of strikes, but operate in a radius around that city. So while there seems to be an uptick in strikes in Abu Kamal, a southeastern city in Syria, they're really in the area surrounding it, as it's on the west side of the Euphrates river — a deconfliction line agreed upon by the U.S. and Russia.

The U.S. can't cross the river into Abu Kamal, which is held by pro-Syrian regime forces and sustaining attacks from ISIS. Kozak said the U.S. military is focusing on "our" side of the river, and Russia is ultimately responsible for what happens to theirs.

Go deeper:

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.