NATO has approved extra forces for Kosovo in response to violent clashes in the region. Last week, a deadly shootout occurred at a monastery in northern Kosovo, resulting in the deaths of a Kosovo police officer and three Serbian gunmen. The US and NATO have also been keeping a watchful eye on a large Serbian military deployment near the border with Kosovo.
Kosovo’s prime minister, Albin Kurti, has expressed gratitude for NATO’s decision to increase troops in the Balkan area. He believes the recent violence is a result of Serbia’s attempts to destabilize the region with the aid of Russia.
While NATO has authorized additional forces to address the situation, it has not yet specified the number or countries involved. The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has announced that it will transfer command of a battalion of troops to the alliance.
The United States urged Belgrade to pull its forces back from the border with Kosovo on Friday after detecting what it called an “unprecedented” Serbian military build-up.
“We are monitoring a large Serbian military deployment along the border with Kosovo,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“That includes an unprecedented staging of advanced Serbian artillery, tanks, mechanized infantry units. We believe that this is a very destabilizing development.”
“We are calling on Serbia to withdraw those forces from the border.”
Following the attack, the NATO peacekeeping force known as Kosovo Force (KFOR) will be increasing its presence in the region.
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg has confirmed that the alliance is prepared to enhance the force to address the situation.
In the northern part of Kosovo, where the Serb minority is located, KFOR has decided to increase its presence and activity, as revealed by an anonymous NATO official. The official further stated that KFOR is ready to make necessary adjustments to fulfil its peacekeeping mandate.