The reconciliation process initiated by the Russians in Syria has saved countless lives of soldiers, civilians and even jihadists. It also preserved SAA fighting strength, brought a lot of Syrian territory back under the control of Damascus. It brought former jihadists back into the fight on the side of the SAA. This process may appear to be tedious and without the glorious satisfaction of annihilating jihadis in a costly series of rapid offensives, but I firmly believe the reconciliation process is the right way for Syria. This strategy is now being brought to bear at Tanf.
The first evidence of this was the mid-September agreement for the removal of the US trained and backed al-Qaryatayn Martyrs Brigade and 5,000 civilians from the Rukban refugee camp to the Euphrates Shield-held area in northern Aleppo. This was the work of the Russian Reconciliation Center. More recently, tribal leaders from Damascus have met tribal leaders at the refugee camp to discuss their situation. A list of refugees wanting to engage in the reconciliation process is being prepared. Many of those not reconciling with Damascus will be shipped north to join the al-Qaryatayn Martyrs Brigade and their families. The camp evacuations are already be underway. Next week the Russians will escort a UN aid convoy into the Rukban Refugee Camp.
Although the US has apparently acquiesced to the Russian plan to depopulate the Rukban Refugee Camp, I believe Russia has cleverly outmaneuvered the US. The SAA is steadily destroying the remaining jihadis on the al-Safa plateau. I believe the US forces at Tanf will soon be left alone without jihadis to control or even any remaining jihadis to fight. The “fighting ISIS” rationale will disappear and the real reason for remaining at Tanf will become clear. At Israel’s behest, we are blocking the Teheran-Baghdad-Damascus highway.