Assad: Israel pushing Middle East to war

Syrian leader says Israel isn't serious about peace; Moallem warns of all-out war.

February 3, 2010 19:03
2 minute read.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem.

walid moallem 190. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Israel is pushing the Middle East toward a new war, Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Wednesday.

“Israel is not serious about achieving peace since all facts point out that Israel is pushing the region towards war, not peace," the official Syrian news agency SANA quoted Assad as saying during a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

Earlier Wednesday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem warned Israel that if war were to break out between Syria and Israel, it would be fought “inside your cities.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“Israel must stop being the neighborhood bully. Don’t test our determination,” Moallem said during a press conference in Damascus where Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos was also present. “One day you threaten Gaza, the next day you threaten Lebanon, then Iran and now Syria.”

Moallem warned that if a war between Syria and Israel breaks out, it would be “total and take place inside your cities.”

His words were a reaction to a statement by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who said at the Herzliya Conference on Tuesday that if an agreement with Syria was not reached, the two countries might be dragged into a “forceful confrontation that may deteriorate into all-out war.”

“In the reality of the Middle East, we will conclude such a war and then sit and negotiate, talking about the exact issues we have been debating with the Syrians for the past 15 years,” said Barak.

Moallem said Syria “assesses that such a war will break out, we must not rule out such a possibility. I would say it would be a total and expansive war, whether it begins in South Lebanon or in Syria.”


Trying to calm the atmosphere, Moratinos said he had just returned from a visit to Israel and left with the feeling that Israelis had “a will for peace.” He said he did not hear “the drums of war” while he was here. Moratinos promised that Spain would “continue to do its utmost so that peace talks in the Middle East will be renewed as soon as possible.”

Moallem’s bellicose remarks followed quick on the heels of reports that the United States is returning its ambassador to Syria, after five years when the American representation in Syria was only by low-level diplomats.

Moallem confirmed that the US asked Syria to approve the nomination of Robert Ford as ambassador.

“The United States presented us with a nominee for ambassador,” he said. “This is an issue of American sovereignty and it is Syria’s right to examine the nomination.”

He did not say whether Syria approved or denied the nomination.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The aftermath of an Iranian ballistic missile strike on the Koya headquarters of the KDP-I Iranian o
November 15, 2018
Senior IRGC commander: Israeli agent killed in September strikes on Kurds