Syria's President Bashar al-Assad
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, speaking on Iranian TV, said the Middle East faced 'destruction' if Syria's alliance with Iran and Russia was unsuccessful Getty

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said he is ready to step aside if his "departure is the solution". Assad was speaking in an interview with Iran's Khabar TV.

The West has previously insisted that Assad should leave office as part of any solution to the Syrian civil war. In recent weeks though Western leaders have softened their stance, with British Prime Minister David Cameron claiming that that Assad could remain in office as part of a transitional government. However, Cameron described Assad as a "butcher" earlier today.

"I say once again that if my departure is part of the solution, I will never hesitate to do that," said Assad, adding though that "this is decided only by the people".

Assad has previously resisted calls to step down, and in the interview said that Syria and its allies Iran and Russia must succeed "or we face destruction of the whole region". He said that the West is using terrorists to subjugate the Middle East.

"Concerning fighting terrorism, from the beginning it was clear there were foreign hands behind it, and that it aimed at creating chaos and terrorist environment to destabilise Syria," said Assad.

Earlier, Russia's defence ministry announced that Russian planes have flown 20 missions and struck 10 Islamic State (Isis) targets in the past 24 hours.

The West claims that Russian intervention will escalate the conflict, as it is targeting moderate rebel groups battling Assad. Putin "doesn't distinguish between ISIL [Islamic State] and a moderate Sunni opposition that wants to see Mr Assad go," US President Barack Obama said on Friday.

Before launching the air strikes, Putin claimed that Assad is ready to share power with "reasonable" opposition.