Sources on the ground believe the US is not expected to pull out of al-Tanf crossing between Syria and Iraq – as requested by Damascus in exchange of Hezbollah and Iran absence in Daraa – because Israel believed the battle is not going to take place. Therefore, the Syrian government has decided to engage in the Daraa’ battle and remove all jihadists from the south to regain total control of the territory or even impose a negotiation by force to reached a withdrawal of the US forces from al-Tanf.
Russia has bigger plans in the Levant: During my visit to the city of Palmyra and its surroundings, the presence of thousands of Russian troops is striking, indicating that Moscow is sending new infantry and special forces in very large numbers. This large presence has not been announced.
Moscow can’t hold the ultimate decision of who can stay or leave in Syria. Moreover, for the time being, Russia considers that all the allied forces – including Hezbollah and Iran and its allies – are absolutely necessary as long as there are US forces occupying the country.
Russia and Turkey consider the US as the biggest threat in Syria because of the “regime change” intention and the partition projects the US is capable of promoting, and the desire to create for the Kurds a special entity, not for the love of the Kurds, but to keep pressure on both Ankara and Damascus.