BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The leader of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah said it does not seek war with Israel but it is prepared for it, after a border incident left two dead.
A Jan. 18 Israeli airstrike on Quneitra, Syria, in which six Hezbollah troops and an Iranian general were killed, was followed this week by a clash at Mount Dov, on the Israel-Lebanon border, in which two Israeli soldiers died. At a televised memorial rally honoring the Quneitra casualties Friday in Beirut, attended by thousands, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said, "We in Hezbollah are no longer concerned with anything called the rules of engagement. It is our right, our legal right and our moral right, to confront the aggression at any time, any place and in any form whatsoever. We don't want a war [with Israel]. This is not weak talk. But we are not afraid of war with Israel."
He added that Hezbollah could respond to "aggression" from Israel in any manner it decided.
Hezbollah and Israel fought a brief war, known in Lebanon as the July War, in 2006, a stalemate resulting in the deaths of 121 Israeli soldiers and between 500 and 800, depending on the source of the estimate, Hezbollah fighters. The organization has since become involved in the conflict in Syria, defending Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.