The al-Assad government’s support from Russia

The al-Assad government’s support from Russia, China and Iran (along with ‘Hezbollah’, its allied militia-cum-party) can be viewed as an effort to limit the United States’ power in the international system. These polities aim to effectively prevent the US from gaining power in North Africa and the Middle East by forming alliances with Syria and vetoing any involvement of the United Nations Security Council (Yan, 2013). Thus, the interests of Russia, China and Iran coincide with respects to countering the US and protecting the al-Assad regime. On the other side, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are all working to remove al-Assad from power. Washington’s support for anti-Assad forces is an effort to create a power vacuum that can be exploited to increase US influence in the area and strengthen the US’ strategic allies in the region. Washington also hopes to minimize the risk of influence by its traditional opponents, such as Russia and Iran (Abdo, 2011).