BEIRUT: Education Minister Elias Bou Saab said Thursday Lebanon was in a state of war with thousands of militants who have infiltrated the country's border with Syria.
“The situation in Arsal is the most dangerous case and the gunmen, estimated in their thousands, have crossed the border into [Lebanon]. They are well trained and well-armed,” Bou Saab told reporters at the Grand Serail after the end of a Cabinet session.
“Today, we do not need precautionary measures; we are in a state of war.”
Clashes renewed Thursday between the Lebanese Army and militants from Syria in a remote border village after the gunmen ambushed a military unit. A soldier was taken captive and others were wounded in the clashes that also killed a number of militants.
Army Commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi spoke to Prime Minister Tammam Salam and the rest of the ministers via telephone about the situation in Arsal during the Cabinet session.