Realism theorises that the system of international relations relies on struggles for power between foreign states or actors, each involved in a conflict to pursue their interests. The Syrian conflict is a complex one, with the United States of America, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia all included as belligerents with differing interests and each with their desired outcomes. The al-Assad government’s support from Russia, China and Iran (together with its ally Hezbollah) can be viewed as an effort to limit the United States’ power in the international system. These polities aim to effectively prevent the United States of America from gaining any sort of advantage over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by forming alliances with Syria and vetoing any involvement of the United Nations Security Council (Yan, 2013).

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