Hezbollah's leader says a Lebanese government decision to declare the Shiite militant group's telecommunications network illegal amounts to a "declaration of war."

The U.S.-backed government on Tuesday declared the military telecommunications network illegal and said it was a threat to state security. The government also said it would dismiss the security chief of the country's only international airport because he was suspected of ties to Hezbollah.

Those Cabinet decisions sparked sectarian clashes between Hezbollah and government supporters over the past two days.

"The decision is tantamount to a declaration of war ... on the resistance and its weapons in the interest of America and Israel," Hassan Nasrallah said in a news conference aired live on television.