As Colonel Lang mentioned, there are rumors that Russia would “respond favorably to an expected SAG request for Russian ground troops.” This is just a guess, but I think the Russians are concerned by the uptick in the US-led coalition efforts to destroy the Assad government and Syria. I'm convinced that the US and the Saudis are hell bent on creating their safe areas for anti-Assad forces both in SDF controlled areas and along the southern border with Jordan. Looks like Trump's first foreign visit will be with his Saudi friends. He’ll probably be discussing one of the few foreign policy points that our agonizingly inconsistent President has been consistent on - safe areas in Syria in conjunction with the Saudis.
Elijah J. Magnier laid out his interpretation of this growing coalition strategy in his recent article, “America is trying to block the path of the “Shiite crescent” from Syria and is preparing the ground for a “new Middle East”.”
I think we let the Turks bomb the Kurds to further drive them into a dependence on increased US presence in "greater Rojava." I think Russia should do all it can to weaken the YPG/SDF dependence on U.S. support. If the Russians shot down a Turkish plane or two over Rojava, that could cause this US gambit to back fire.
I also get the feeling there is nothing we would like more than for the IS jihadis to overrun Deir ez-Zor. That would leave the path open for a jihadi safe area extending from the entire Euphrates valley to the Iraqi border. The only thing standing in our way is that bull of a Druze General and his boys holding Deir ez-Zor. The offensive to relieve that pocket is damned important. In light of the developing coalition effort to carve out a safe area, I now think the relief and/or reinforcement of the Deir ez-Zor pocket is at least as important to the survival of Syria as the the reduction of the jihadis in Idlib.
Israel is getting more blatant about their support for anti-Assad jihadis. It's probably all part of the coalition plan. And I doubt we and the Turks have given up on that jihadi-filled festering sore around Idlib. As many of us know, the R+6 does not have the forces in place to address all these threats at once. The Russians need to tip the balance soon.
In addition to these real and looming threats to the SAG, perhaps old Vladimir Vladimirovich has also decided it is time to send his own message to the West. Our Mudak-in-Chief sent his garbled message of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Maybe it’s time for Vlad to send his own clear and unmistakable message. Something like the deployment of the 106th Guards Airborne Division and the 45th Spetsnaz Brigade along with a substantial Russian Aerospace Force support package to rapidly and decisively address some of the R+6’s most pressing military challenges.