Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Southeast Europe Theatre: Tehran – Belgrade/Pristina – Vienna; Serbs Arming Self-Defense Groups – Former Military and Police Officers
Night Watch: BELGRADE – Reuters reports that the six capitals which make up the Contact Group on Serbia/Kosovo are increasingly concerned at what they call “recent developments”. The capitals are: Washington-London-Berlin-Paris-Rome-Moscow. They refuse to specify what the “recent developments” are but ominous reports have been circulating that Serbian communities in Kosovo are strengthening self-defence groups composed of former military and police officers. This is obviously in preparation for the declaration of Kosovo’s independence, the majority Albanian Muslim province of southern Serbia. [SWISSINFO]
Serbia Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica is on record as saying Monday that when Kosovo independence is declared he will state Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia, which of course gives his and Belgrade’s approval for Serbian armed nationalist groups to open fire. Three Serbian urban communities in northern Kosovo, where Serbs are still the majoirty, have severed all contact with Kosovo’s capital Pristina, which is controlled by Albanians. The Serbs in the north of the province, north of the Ibar river, are in a much better position, politically and economically since they have a continuous land link to Serbia. It’s quite possible the shooting could start even before independence is declared.
The only question is who will the Serbs target first, Albanians or the Contact Group? Encouraging them in this new war is Tehran, which signed a security agreement with Belgrade last January that received a lot of publicity in both countries. Tehran will use the new fighting as a way of silencing Vienna, the capital that houses the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which had been investigating Iran’s uranium enrichment – nuclear weapons program. Fighting in the Balkans will also end the West’s attention on the war in Western Asia (Middle East), which Tehran had Hamas-Hezbollah start against Israel. There will be no more talk of an international peace force monitoring Lebanon led by Europe.