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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 USA, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia all included as belligerents with differing interests and each with their desired outcomes. On one side, the al-Assad government is supported by Russia, China and Iran (together with its ally Hezbollah). This alliance and support, together with the veto power in the United Nations Security Council, aims to limit the influence of the USA in the MENA region (Yan, 2013).

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