Syria: We're Ready for Peace, but Also for War

Official Syrian paper slams FM's recent threats to Damascus; says Israel wants to wage new wars.

An official Syrian mouthpiece said on Saturday that while the path to peace with Israel is open, the path to war and destruction remains open as well.

An editorial in the official Syrian newspaper, Tishreen, which reflects the opinions of the Syrian regime, slammed the recent threats made to Damascus by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "The path to destruction can open the instance Israel complies with its leaders, who have crime flowing through their veins," the newspaper said.

"Whichever path Israel chooses, it will find Syria prepared for either peace or war," it was written.

The article went on to declare that Israel's threats indicate it wants to wage new, destructive wars in the Middle East.

The author of the editorial, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Samira al-Masalma, criticized Israel's intentions for peace. "The mentality of threats and wars dominates Israel. Talks of peace are just empty promises for the sole purpose of media propaganda. The Zionist entity has no real resolution to go in the path of peace," she said.

On Friday, Avigdor Lieberman defended his controversial comments warning Syria not to attack Israel, saying that grave issues in the Middle East cannot go without response.

Lieberman on Thursday said "Assad should know that if he attacks, he will not only lose the war. Neither he nor his family will remain in power."

His remarks came after Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday told Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos that Israel was pushing the Middle East toward a new war.

Lieberman's comments drew harsh criticism on Thursday from a range of Knesset members, some of whom urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rein him in or dismiss him.

However, the Foreign Minister dismissed the criticism on Friday, saying, "I don't work for the media or for public opinion."

"My response, which I made in order to clarify that the situation [with Syria] is unbearable, was immediately met with a hysterical reaction in Israel of 'how dare we anger the nobleman,'" Lieberman said on Friday in an interview with Channel 2 news.

He went on to say that he finds it unfortunate the Israeli left has adopted this reactionary habit and added, "I think that in the Middle East, we cannot let grave things go without a response."

Lieberman also denied that behind-the-scenes meetings have been taking place between Israeli and Syrian officials.