In an interview with The Sunday Times, Assad said that the West has kept silent on while ISIS terrorists have smuggled Iraqi oil and used its oilfields under the eyes of US satellites. He also acknowledged the role of Russia in the Syria war, saying the air raids by Russian air force have made a difference. The Syrian president further reaffirmed his determination to defeat the foreign-backed militants in Aleppo. Syria has been ravaged by a deadly conflict for more than five years. The war has so far claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many more.