Crossfire War – Serbia Plans to Send Police-Army Units into Kosovo

Crossfire War – BELGRADE – ATHENS – MOSCOW WATCH – Southeast Europe Theatre: Belgrade – Athens – Tehran – Moscow – Sofia – Kosovska Mitrovica/(Brussels – Vienna – Warsaw)/Pristina – Tirana – Skopje – Tehran – Ankara; Advisor to Serbia PM Kostunica Wants Serbian Troops to Re-Enter Kosovo – Serbian State Officials Continue to Accuse NATO of Secretly Attempting to Establish NATO – Kosovo State

Night Watch: KOSOVSKA MITROVICA – It has now become a toss up as to who will start attacking NATO-Brussels first, Kosovo Albanians or Serbia. Followers of this issue know that recently it was the ethnic Albanian leadership and their nationalist militia units, who were demanding immediate recognition for the province’s independence and less than a year ago, they were led to believe the European Union (EU) in Brussels and the United Nations were prepared to do just that. However, immediately, when the Kosovo Albanian leadership saw the delay from the EU-UN, they suspected it was a sign the international community had shifted sides and was now agreeing with the Serbian government in Belgrade. Therefore it has most recently been Albanian leaders who were making and still make the most ominous statements they will declare independence on their own, which will of course restart the war. But based on some of the latest statements from the Serbian government it now seems Belgrade is even angrier at Brussels as some of the Serbian state officials have for this past week openly accused NATO of secretly attempting to establish Kosovo as a NATO state. The latest accusation is from Serbia Interior Minister Dragan Jocic that NATO can “no longer cover up its real intention of turning Kosovo into its own militarized puppet state.” Jocic and other Serbian officials in the ruling Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) suspect that was the real reason for NATO’s bombing campaign of 1999 followed by 16,000 NATO troops occupying the province. [B92]

Aleksandar Simic, one of the more influential Serbian advisers to Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, wants to go one-step further and is openly advocating Belgrade send some troops back into Kosovo. “We believe the time is right for this. The Albanian separatists’ leaders in Kosovo have demonstrated they so not in fact wish to negotiate. This is yet further evidence that the only force that can make the Kosovo Albanians negotiate is the United States. If that country were to give up its bid to create a NATO state in the Balkans real negotiations will be possible, producing a compromise, sorely needed for the Balkan and European stability.” It should not be surprising the Serbian leadership is portraying Washington-NATO as the main obstacle to a negotiated settlement and only with NATO removed would stability be possible. Belgrade has heavily re-armed and with support from Moscow. Last November Athens signed a security agreement with Belgrade and earlier this year a military delegation from Greece was received in Moscow led by the head of the Greek 1st Army.

It was hinted earlier this year, since everyone knew another armed conflict was unavoidable, that Belgrade may have devised with Moscow’s support, a scenario that would justify Serbian security units re-entering Kosovo and it would revolve around threats to the Serbian community in northern Kosovo where Serbs are the majority. Violent attacks against Serbs have occurred regularly since 1999 as ethnic Albanians attempt to force more Serbs out of the province, by conducting attacks not only on Serbs but also on their properties and Christian churches, incidents which the UN-NATO-European Union (EU) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have ignored. So as Belgrade continue to accuse Washington-NATO, one of the leaders of the Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo (SNV), Marko Jaksic, has stated they will submit a request for Belgrade to send a thousand Serbian police and army personnel back to the province. Jaksic was speaking over Radio Beta RFI, “Our initiative, to be sent to the Ministry for Kosovo, will provide for proper protection of our people considering there are serious threats of violence unless the status issue is resolved soon as possible.”

I do not believe his request caught Belgrade by surprise and they know the war will begin again as soon as the units re-enter the province, unless the Albanians restart the war before they arrive. No one trusts anyone, whether EU/Albanians/NATO/Serbs/UN/OSCE and waiting in the wings for the whole region to go up in smoke again is Tehran which wants to use the war to silence Vienna in order to end the investigation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program by the UN agency based there. Belgrade is planning on the war to resume and in January 2006, reported the security agreement signed between Iran-Serbia. In 1998, as NATO was planning to intervene in the war in Kosovo between Albanian militia groups and the Serbian Army, Washington’s Secretary of State was William Cohen who warned if NATO puts troops in the region they could eventually be attacked by both sides.

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.