The Western and North-Western operational commands of the Belarusian Armed Forces have received an order to recruit troops for patrolling the territories in Syria, BYPOL, a campaign created by opposition-minded people who earlier belonged to Belarusian uniformed services, reported on Saturday, citing its own sources.
According to them, the first sending of 300 fighters from each command is expected to take place in September. 2021.
BYPOL sources say that some officers briefed on this information are going to resign or seeking the transfer to other units. For example, Major Ihar Hil, who is supposed to become the commander of this peacekeeping company, is allegedly trying to find a position in the headquarters, but his efforts have not brought any effect so far.
The Belarusian contractors serving in Syria will be paid $2,000 a month, BYPOL notes. The campaign adds that the commanders of the Special Operations Forces have already launched a ‘strong propaganda campaign to recruit conscripts for peacekeeping.’
In November 2020, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktar Khrenin stated that the Belarusian Armed Forces were set to broaden their participation in international peacekeeping.
“We are working on further directions in order to join one of the peacekeeping missions,” he stressed.
It is not the first time that the information on the feasibility of deploying Belarusian soldiers in Syria has made the headlines. In July 2017, Russia suggested that CIS countries, including Belarus, should send troops to Syria for joint monitoring in de-escalation zones. But the point at issue was peacekeepers, not military personnel. Later, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry stated that they had never received any official paper concerning a peacekeeping mission from the Russian side. In 2018, there were reports about Belarusian sappers’ would-be involvement is Syria. However, no confirmed facts of sending Belarusian servicemen to the conflict zone are known yet. Meanwhile, some Belarusian citizens fought there as part of the Russian private military company Wagner.