NATO-Led Force In Kosovo Steps Up Patrols Near Border With Serbia

NATO-Led Force In Kosovo Steps Up Patrols Near Border With Serbia

Andrew H. Sweet

The NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo has stepped up patrols on the border with Serbia amid worsening tensions between the two Balkan foes over a dispute about license plates.

Video footage showed NATO armored vehicles moving close to the barricades made of trucks and other vehicles on the Kosovo-Serbia frontier, as Serbian government jets flew overhead.

The U.S. Embassy in Serbia tweeted that American and Canadian defense officials had visited the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings β€œto gain a better understanding of the situation.

The move to increase KFOR patrols comes a day after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned NATO that Serbia will intervene in Kosovo if Serbs there come under serious threat from the majority Kosovar Albanians.

The confrontation has already boiled over into violence, with a car registration office and another Interior Ministry buildings in northern Kosovo being attacked on September 25, according to police.

Serbia has also begun military maneuvers near the border and started flying military jets above the crossings in protest.

On September 26, Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic visited troops at two military bases near the Kosovo border, accompanied by Russia's ambassador to Serbia.

NATO has led KFOR since 1999, with around 4,000 troops from 28 countries, after a 78-day bombing campaign by the military alliance ended the 1998-1999 Kosovo War that left more than 10,000 dead.

Read the original story here.

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