AP: US Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons
- US Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons
By Robert Burns
AP Military Writer
Friday, April 14, 2000; 11:02 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON -- American peacekeeping troops today launched a
surprise raid near the town of Kacanik in southeastern Kosovo, seizing a
variety of illegally held land mines, U.S. military officials said.
Details of the operation were sketchy, but a brief statement from Camp
Bondsteel, headquarters for the U.S. peacekeeping force in Kosovo, said
the raid was launched in the early morning hours by air assault troops of
the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry. There was no immediate word on
whether the land mines were held by Serbs or ethnic Albanians, or
whether anyone was detained in connection with the raid.
Officials said the operation, termed a "cordon and search," was continuing
and that more details would be released when it was completed.
On Thursday, U.S. officials said NATO has decided against expanding
the size of its peacekeeping force in Kosovo but has asked member
countries for about 3,500 troops to fill existing and anticipated gaps in the
After analyzing whether the peacekeeping force known as the Kosovo
Force, or KFOR, was sized properly for the mission, 10 months after it
began, NATO authorities affirmed that the current number of 39,000
troops was about right, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said
Thursday. That includes about 5,900 American troops.
There had been speculation that NATO might add more forces because
of recent episodes of ethnic violence in the French-controlled sector of
Kosovo and trouble with bands of ethnic Albanian rebels in the Presevo
Valley in southern Yugoslavia, which borders the American-patrolled
sector of Kosovo.
Instead NATO decided that it can manage so long as current and coming
gaps are filled, Bacon said. The NATO analysis said a Canadian and a
Dutch battalion that are about to leave Kosovo should be replaced, and a
French and an Italian battalion that are in Kosovo on temporary duty also
need to be replaced.
NATO also concluded that a "swing battalion" that was supposed to be in
Kosovo as a reserve force - but which never was deployed - should be
filled, he said.
The size of a battalion varies by nation but is generally in the vicinity of
Thus, NATO has asked member countries to provide five battalions, or
approximately 3,500 troops, although the only battalion that would add to
the total of troops in Kosovo would be the "swing battalion."
Letters were sent this week to NATO capitals asking for contributions to
fill the five battalions. He said it was "highly unlikely" the United States
would contribute, since none of the battalions are earmarked for
deployment in the U.S.-controlled sector of southeastern Kosovo.
Independent of the NATO study on troop requirements, the United States
announced two weeks ago that it intends to send an extra 125 infantry
soldiers to conduct long-range reconnaissance in the Presevo Valley area,
as well as 14 tanks and six Paladin artillery systems.
Bacon said the reconnaissance company would arrive by the end of April
and the tanks and artillery would arrive at Camp Able Sentry, in nearby
Skopje, Macedonia, in the next few days.
On the Net:
NATO's Kosovo Force: http://www.kforonline.com
© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
- U.S. Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons
The Associated Press
Saturday, Aug. 11, 2001; 8:29 a.m. EDT
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- U.S. soldiers serving with NATO-led
peacekeepers seized a weapons cache and arrested 17 people in an
eight-hour sweep of Kosovo villages near the Macedonian border, U.S.
forces said Saturday.
The weapons cache was found Friday after scouring houses, barns and
sheds in the villages of Donja Stubla and Goden, a U.S. Army statement
The cache included 20 assault rifles, 2,000 rounds of small arms
ammunition, 104 pairs of boots, uniforms and other material.
"Our soldiers will search every corner of Kosovo to prevent the return of
violence and chaos," said Maj. Randy Martin, a spokesman for the U.S.
U.S. peacekeepers have been stepping up operations trying to stem the
flow of weapons from the southern Serb province of Kosovo - under
U.N. and NATO control - to ethnic Albanian guerrillas in neighboring
Ethnic Albanian militants took up arms in February saying they want more
rights for their community, which accounts for up to a third of the
Macedonia's population of 2 million.
© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press