Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said via public broadcast that his group has the right to possess anti-aircraft weapons, while neither confirming nor denying recent Israeli reports that Syria had delivered ground-to-air missiles to the Shia militia.
AFP - Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday that his Shiite militant group had every right to possess anti-aircraft weapons in its struggle against Israel.
"We have the right to possess any kind of weapon to defend the country and our people... including anti-aircraft weapons," Nasrallah said via video link to thousands of supporters gathered in his stronghold in Beirut's suburbs.
"And we have every right to use such weapons if we wish," he added. "Why do they (the Israelis) fear us owning such weapons? Because the resistance has the will and the courage to use them."
Nasrallah, whose party fought a devastating 34-day war with the Jewish state in 2006, was responding to recent Israeli reports that Syria had delivered ground-to-air missiles to Hezbollah.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this month that if such reports were true that it would "change the strategic balance and force Israel to act."
Nasrallah was speaking at a rally marking the first anniversary of the death of top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughnieh and two other senior chiefs, and said he would neither confirm nor deny that his group owned such weapons.
Date created : 2009-02-16