It may have been part of a "grand bargain" in Syria (no, there were no leaks over what they really discussed). And it may have been a tactical retreat, as Kerry acknowledged Russia "won" in Syria, but NATO -- as in the Pentagon -- will keep up the pressure in Russia's western borderlands. Hybrid War resumed shortly afterwards, via the Panama Papers.
We Rule One World
A fake "Caliphate" will never be a strategic threat to Exceptionalistan; but Eurasian integration definitely is.
No wonder the Beltway is alarmed. Syria has already yielded two key developments.
1) the high-level coordination between Moscow, Damascus, Tehran and Baghdad -- via the Baghdad joint information center -- was the antechamber of how the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in the future, may intervene in a hot spot as the absolute opposite of NATO: eradicating chaos instead of fomenting it via humanitarian imperialism.
2) This was also an antechamber, in terms of interstate cooperation, of how the New Silk Roads may proceed across Eurasia, further integrating China and Russia with Central Asia and Southwest Asia.
As for the Beltway, the priorities remain the same. First of all, prevent Russia and the EU from establishing a bilateral, strategic, trade/commerce partnership that adds to Eurasia integration. Hardcore Hybrid War in Ukraine remains the key spanner in the works, as well as NATO beefing up its "patrols" based in Eastern Europe vassal states.
The key overall objective is to prevent Eurasian integration by all means available. As for Wall Street, what matters is to build a One World flow of American capital to the benefit of a turbocharged casino capitalist system controlled by the US -- and not Eurasia. Compared to the Big Picture, Panama may eventually yield the odd road kill. Not enough. Be prepared for the long haul. For the gas-guzzling Hybrid War Monster Truck, the road goes on forever.