Syrian President Bashar al - Assad has said Russia ' s military intervention in his war - torn country was vital for the entire Middle East, as Moscow ramped up its bombing campaign. In an interview with Iran's state television on Sunday, Assad said Syria's alliance with Russia, Iraq and Iran "must succeed, or else the whole region will be destroyed". "The chances of success for this coalition are great and not insignificant," he added. For the fifth day in a row, Russia said it has been carrying out bombings against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, but critics in the West said the strikes are mainly targeting moderate opponents of Assad. Earlier on Sunday, Russia said it had dropped concrete-buster munitions on new ISIL targets and destroyed command posts, storehouses, and other infrastructure.