Syrian President Bashar Assad told Hezbollah's al-Manar television station on Wednesday evening, "We are in a situation of neither war nor peace, and this is a temporary situation which will either end in peace or in war. There is no other choice apart from these two."
According to Assad, "We believe we are facing an enemy which only understands the language of force. We believe peace is not at arm's length for the region, but in any event there are many ways to reach the goals and they must not necessarily go through war."
He noted that "the Syrian army is developing itself", and warned that Damascus "will enter any war imposed on us."
According to the Syrian president, his country cannot remain neutral when it comes to the "resistance". He also stressed that Syria was interested in having good relations with Lebanon.
Al-Manar interview (Photo: AFP)
Assad was asked during the interview why his country was avoiding launching a "war of liberation" against Israel.
"First of all," he replied, "we are talking about peace. War is the worst thing and no one is looking for war in any place in the world. We must continue seeking peace as long as there is hope. Do we have hope with the Israeli government? Not at all. But we believe that Israel today, according to what we are hearing from Israel's supporters, has no other alternatives apart from peace."
'Our army developing'According to the Syrian president, "The Israeli power of deterrence has worn out over time, although Israel is boosting its power. However, at the same time, the 'resistance' perception is growing stronger as well in the Arab street. In practice, Israel has become weaker and its military force guarantees nothing.
"Many of its supporters, especially from the Zionist organizations and several radical Jewish organizations, have begun saying that they believed in war in the past, but now they believe that there is no solution for Israel other than peace. There is no escape but to look for the peace process first.
"As for me, in terms of a war of liberation or resistance, the resistance doesn't grow from a decision made by a country, but in a popular way. Syria is a country with a developing army."
Asked about the chances for a war against Israel, Assad said: "When a war is imposed on you, you must enter it regardless of the balance of power. But this is not a simple matter and it is not hidden in a declaration of war. This issue is not a matter of enthusiasm."
The Syrian president slammed former US President George W. Bush, who he said had failed in the move he led against Damascus. Addressing current US President Barack Obama, Assad said there was a clear difference between the two administrations.
"We don't hear the language of dictations. There are differences in the worldviews and its natural, but the dictation language no longer exists," he said.