Belarus will deploy up to 200 troops to Syria to serve alongside Russian forces in the country, according to a Russian government document released Monday, a move strongly condemned by Belarus' opposition leader, AP reports.
According to the report, a draft agreement between Russia and its ally, Belarus, endorsed by Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, says that the Belarusian troops will work to provide "humanitarian assistance" to the population outside combat zones.
The document states that Belarusian troops will act under operational control of the Russian military in Syria when deployed to the country.
On the other hand, in an apparent effort to deflect such criticism, Lukashenko said that he hadn't authorised any deployment yet.
"I haven't sent anyone there," Lukashenko said, Tuesday, adding that Syria had asked for humanitarian assistance and he discussed sending military medics there at some point.
Russia started a military campaign in Syria since 2015, teaming up with Iran to help Syrian President Bashar Assad's government reclaim control over most of the country after a devastating civil war.
READ: Head of Russia 'peacekeeping' mission in Kazakhstan is same general who led operations in Ukraine, Syria