Lebanese Forces official Ibrahim El-Sakr said in an interview that was uploaded to the Bel Moubasher YouTube channel on November 22, 2020 that the Lebanese Forces haven't taken up arms since 2005, but that they have 50,000 fighters that can be called up in case security chaos breaks out in Lebanon.
Interviewer: "Are you, in the Lebanese Forces, worried about security chaos, and is this why you train some of your people? It was said that you have trained and equipped 15,000 fighters. I don't know if this figure is accurate.
Ibrahim El-Sakr: "To tell you the truth, it is the Lebanese army that protects us. We follow the banner of the Lebanese army. I do not like it when people talk about 15,000 fighters, because the Lebanese Forces have about 50,000 men, not 15,000."
Interviewer: "Are they all fighters?"
El-Sakr: "We are the war generation. I was born in 1970. I was born during a war, and I still live in a war. What do you think I am? I was born in 1970, I belong to the war generation. There are many people like me. There are 50,000, but we haven't taken up arms..."
Interviewer: "You didn't take up arms? Then what..."
El-Sakr: "We gave up our weapons, and in 2005, after Dr. Geagea was released – and in my view, he was held hostage... He never asked anyone to take up arms. The army and security forces always protect us, but whenever there is a need for us to stand alongside the army – the Lebanese Forces have always stood in defense of Lebanon and its cedar."
Interviewer: "So the headline is that the Lebanese Forces have 50,000 fighters, should this be necessary."
El-Sakr: "Yes, I think so. Fifty thousand, and I hope we will never need them. God forbid, if there is a collapse of security in Lebanon, like in 1975... We have 15,000 fighters in Zahle and Deir Al-Ahmar alone."