Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday his country had foiled Western designs to topple him but his army had not yet won the fight to end Syria’s six-year-old insurgency.

In an televised address, Assad said that even though there were signs of victory after six-and-a-half years of civil war, the “battle continues, and where we go later and it becomes possible to talk about victory…that’s a different matter.”

He did not elaborate on that point.

However, he said the assistance extended by stalwart allies Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement had enabled the army to make battlefield gains and reduce the burden of war.