Putin managed to surprise nearly everyone with his sudden decision to withdraw Russian troops from Syria. The decision comes at a crucial moment, as jihadists' forces doesn't seem to have been completely defeated in all fronts. From tass.ru :
President Vladimir Putin has issued an order to begin withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria starting from March 15.
“I think that the tasks set to the defense ministry are generally fulfilled. That is why I order to begin withdrawal of most of our military group from Syria starting from tomorrow,” Putin said on Monday at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
In Putin's words, during their operation in Syria, Russian military have demonstrated professionalism and teamwork, having performed all the set tasks.
Perhaps Putin just 'smelled' the Western trap and tries to escape from the Middle East chaos before it's too late. As described in previous articles:
... dragging Russia in the Middle East front, is probably part of Washington's changing strategy at this moment, and has two main targets:
The first target is to allow the US to withdraw progressively any forces from the Syrian mess, avoiding another endless attrition war. At the same time, Washington will start a new propaganda war to pass the blame for the mess to Putin and his allies. Simultaneously, Washington hopes to restore, to some degree, the relations with the European allies, as many of them are dissatisfied with the US policy, which generated the huge problem of the fleeing refugees, finding Europe totally unprepared to deal with it. Putin will be considered responsible for the new waves of refugees.
The second target, is to drag Russia into what the US try to avoid: an endless attrition war. Putin could be trapped in a condition similar to that of the Soviets in Afghanistan, although probably not for such a long period. What the US and their European allies failed to do in Ukraine, may be achieved now. The US will probably continue to arm militants in Syria, keeping Putin busy, at least until 2016 presidential elections. With a more willing puppet than Obama to follow neocon agenda (any GOP, or Hillary), Washington may then open a new front in the Russian borders.
... another reason for which the West wanted Russia to get involved in the Syrian mess, is to 'absorb' the Jihadist fanatism in its soil. If the suicide bombings start to 'shift' from Western targets to Russian territories, Putin will have to face another big problem, apart from any other potential 'color revolutions', a dead end in Syria, or, renewed Western sanctions and further economic trouble.
The Russian president was probably waiting for the beginning of the negotiations, in order to identify the real intentions of the Westerners and the alleged Syrian opposition. It appears that they were only interested to gain some time, so that to re-organize their forces, not to achieve a solid agreement which would attempt to put an end to the Syrian mess.
If this is true, then we are talking about a surprise move by Putin against the plans of the Westerners to trap him into a dead end war, opening other fronts too, in order to get rid of him.
Of course, there is always a possibility that Russians and Americans have already agreed to re-build the map of the Middle East, which will include a sovereign Kurdish state. This explains Erdogan's anxiety who acts under pressure and makes things worse, as he probably understands that he has been left out of the game.