During the war in former Yugoslavia, over 5,000 ethnic Albanians fought together with Croat and Muslim military formations. When the policy of non-violent resistance failed to make any progress, some ethnic Albanians turned to violence. Rugova’s position began to be undermined when the Kosovo Question was left off the agenda at the Dayton Peace talks in November 1995. Younger Kosovars increasingly began to ask why they should hold fast to nonviolence when the Bosnian Serbs were rewarded for their violence and brutality with their own quasi-state within Bosnia. The Kosovo Liberation Army — KLA in English acronym or UCK in the Albanian acronym — first appeared in Macedonia in 1992. In 1995 the beginnings of armed resistance to the Serbs appeared, when the KLA carried out isolated attacks on Serbian police. The KLA appeared for the first time in public in June 1996, assuming responsibility for a series of acts of sabotage committed against the police stations and policemen in Kosovo and Metohija. After these bombings, Serb authorities named it a terrorist organization. Since 1997 the Kosovo Liberation Army has conducted attacks on Serbian police and other officials. They did not attack Yugoslav Army military facilities, rather, their emphasis was ambushes of police patrols and attacks on Albanians who collaborated with Serbian authorities.
The Kosovo Liberation Army is not a unified military organization subordinated to a political party or civil authority, but rather functions as a guerilla movement consisting of lightly armed fighters. However, its members carry visible insignia and execute the assignments of their command in a disciplined way. The KLA’s strength has swelled from about 500 active members at the beginning of 1998 to a force of at least a few thousand men [though some estimates suggest that there are as many as 12,000 to 20,000 armed guerrillas]. The KLA is organized in small compartmentalized cells rather than a single large rebel movement. The KLA’s strength is apparently divided between a maneuverable strike nucleus of a few hundred trained commandos, and the much larger number of locally organized members active throughout the region. The KLA typically performs actions in smaller groups, at times as few as three to five men.
Many members of KLA units are professionally trained, and include former Yugoslav army soldiers. The group functions very professionally underground, due in part to fact that some of its leaders are former members of UDBA [Internal State Security Service], the army and the police.
The Kosovo Liberation Army is alleged by Serbia to include about 1,000 foreign mercenaries from Albania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Muslims) and Croatia. Among the mercenaries it is alleged that there also British and German instructors. Most of these mercenaries are said to be Albanian nationals, especially former Albanian army officers, policemen and members of the state security forces. According to Serbian accounts, the primary KLA training camps in Albania are Ljabinot near Tirana, Tropoja near the Yugoslav-Albanian border, Kuks and Bajram Curi near the Yugoslav-Albanian border. Serbia claims that these locations are also the headquarters for the command and units of the Albanian army and police for the northeastern part of Albania and the centers for recruiting followers of the overthrown Albanian president Sali Berisha.
The KLA initially conducted hit-and-run attacks against the Serbian special forces police operating in the province. Typically, KLA units fire on Serbian patrols, trying to draw them into the woods where they will be ambushed. Initially, the buildings and personnel of the Serbian Special Police were not targeted, nor were high police officials and police vehicles. After the March 1998 Drenica massacre the KLA engaged in a wider scope of actions. In April and May 1998 there were a number of attacks on police units and facilities and attacks on the Military Police working with the Serbian police. In May and June 1998 larger-scale actions consisted actions to defend villages on important crossroads in order to form in the west of Kosovo [between Pec and Djakovica] a line of liberated territories and to disrupt communications between local police and Army units and the main forces in eastern Kosovo. The Yugoslav Army responded to these actions with heavy weaponry. Other KLA actions in this period included attacks on roads to isolate dispersed police stations and control points needing daily supplies.
Until March 1998 the KLA used only light arms, but more recently KLA forces have been armed with assault rifles, along with Ambrust and Soviet-designed RPG shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket launchers, mortars, recoilless rifles, anti-aircraft machineguns, and mortars. The KLA equipment includes some weapons from the Second World War, such as PPS-41 automatic rifles and the MP-40, “Mosine-Nagant”, though the inventory of modern arms, ammunition, telecommunication equipment, and other supplies is much larger. The KLA has obtained weapons used by the former Yugoslav People’s Army, as well as other weapons produced in China and Singapore.
The KLA is said to have two command centers — one is abroad, and the other center is in Pristina, where the KLA has a well-developed logistics base. Direct contact with Kosovo and Metohija is maintained via Gnjilane, Vitina, Glogovac and Pristina. It is evident that the KLA has a well-organized surveillance apparatus, and that an organized word of mouth messenger service is operating to supplement established radio communications links.
Both Rugova and the KLA have insisted upon independence for Kosovo. The KLA’s professed long-term goal is to unite the Albanian populations of Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania into a greater Albania. Until recently, the Kosovars viewed granting Kosovo the status of a third republic within Yugoslavia as a transitional stage in achieving Kosovo’s independence. This option was attractive to the international community as it did not result in changing the international border. But Serbia rejected this concept, taking the position that Kosovo remained Serbia’s internal matter. And by mid-1998 the Kosovar view of this concept was equally negative, with an international protectorate and demilitarization seen as interim steps towards independence.
Aside from causing casualties and deaths, the armed resistance provided Milosevic the pretext for his brutal crack-down. In late February 1998, following an unprecedented series of clashes in Kosovo between Serbian police forces and members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Serbian police raided villages in Kosovo’s Drenica region, a KLA stronghold. The police reportedly burned homes and killed dozens of ethnic Albanians in these raids. Thousands of ethnic Albanians in Pristina protested Serb police actions, and were subsequently attacked by the police with tear gas, water cannons, and clubs. As a result of the fighting, thousands of Kosovar Albanians were displaced from their homes, many taking refuge with host families, while a smaller proportion (several thousand) took to the hills and forests.
Over the summer of 1998 large-scale fighting broke out, resulting in the displacement of some 300,000 people. Since July 1998 Milosevic steadily increased the level of violence against the Albanian majority. Estimates put the number of deaths at several hundred. The local economy collapsed due to the Serbian embargo which began in early 1998. A ceasefire was agreed in October 1998 which enabled refugees to find shelter, averting an impending humanitarian crisis over the winter. A Verification Mission was deployed under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). However, violence continued and the situation worsened significantly in January 1999. A peace conference, held in Paris, broke up on 19 March with the refusal of the Yugoslav delegation to accept a peaceful settlement. At 1900 hours GMT on 24 March, NATO forces began air operations over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Milosevic’s estimate that he could wipe out the KLA in five to seven days was wrong. As of early May 1999 the KLA had increased in size to as much as 8,000 or 10,000, an increase of several thousand combatants. The number of supporters has also risen to about 20,000. As Serbian military units are destroyed or driven into hiding by NATO air operations, there is a resurgence of UCK activity. The hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Kosovar Albanians are taking shelter in locations which often coincide with many of the UCK controlled areas, and it appears that some sanctuary is being provided for these people within these areas. The KLA is receiving recruits from the refugee population, in Albania primarily, and they are training aggressively. They have a broader base of support than they had before, and they continue to acquire or gather weapons, some of which they gather from Serb forces if they win the engagements. The KLA is attacking, blowing up vehicles, and inflicting fatalities on the VJ and the MUP with increasing regularity. Generally the KLA can’t move freely, and they do not control extensive amounts of territory.
The KLA increased rather dramatically in size in the first two months of Operation Allied Force. On March 24th the US Government estimated that they had a total of 6,000 to 8,000 people in Kosovo and Albania with perhaps 2,000 to 4,000 in Kosovo — up to half may have been in Kosovo at any one time. By late May the US Government estimated that the KLA had grown to a total of 17,000 to 20,000 in both Kosovo and Albania, with perhaps as many as 15,000 in Kosovo at any one time. According to US Government estimates, KLA training had improved, the quality of the recruits was getting better, and the quality of weaponry was also getting better. To the extent the KLA succeeded in battle, they were able to acquire some weapons from the Serb forces — both the army forces [VJ] and the special police [MUP]. The KLA also continued to acquire weapons on world markets.
Sources and Resources
- Home Page of the Republic of Kosova
- KOSOVO/A ON-LINE
- Kosova Liberation Peace Movement the Albanian Question
- “The latest massacres warn of a new genocide targeting about 2 million Muslims in Kosova” Nida’ul Islam Magazine (Call of Islam) April – May 1998
- The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties? US Senate Republican Policy Committee 31 March 1999 — The KLA’s uncertain origins, political program, sources of funding, or political alliances include numerous reports that the KLA is closely involved with t he extensive Albanian crime network , including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin.
- Kosovo “freedom fighters” financed by organised crime By Michel Chossudovsky – 10 April 1999 — The truth of the matter is that the KLA is sustained by organised crime with the tacit approval of the United States and its allies. The multibillion dollar Balkans narcotics trade has played a crucial role in “financing the conflict” in Kosovo in accordance with Western economic, strategic and military objectives
- Chossudovsky’s frame-up of the KLA By Michael Karadjis Green Left Weekly ssue #360 May 12, 1999 — Michel Chossudovsky, a professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, has set out the most meticulous frame-up in a piece entitled “Freedom Fighters Financed by Organised Crime.” Full of half-truths, assumptions and innuendoes about the KLA’s alleged use of drug money, Chossudovsky’s article seeks to discredit the KLA as a genuine liberation movement representing the aspirations of the oppressed Albanian majority.
- TERRORISM IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA AND ALBANIA – WHITE BOOK –
- SOME ASPECTS OF CONTEMPORARY TERRORISM Milan Milosevic, Ljubomir Stajic, Police Academy Col. Milan V. Petkovic, Army of Yugoslavia,”Meaning” Jun 1998. FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS [BELGRADE – September 1998]
- Albanian Terrorists Milan V. Petkovic, 1998 — A particular intensification of Iranian activity in Albania and Kosovo and Metohija was registered after the meting of Islamic countries held in Jeddah in 1994, and the meeting of the D-8 group of Islamic countries held in Istanbul in 1996. Actually, the Balkan peninsula was chosen as a beachhead for an organized penetration of Islam into Europe. The escalation of terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija in 1997 and 1998, marked the beginning of a new phase of the long term plan that Teheran has prepared for the Balkans.
- FINALLY THE TRUTH – THE SO-CALLED ‘KLA’ IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION Tanjug March, 1999
- Serbia: Former Security Operative Interviewed : FBIS-EEU-97-363 : 29 Dec 1997
- BETA Assesses Effects of UCK Operations : FBIS-EEU-98-134 : 14 May 1998
- BETA Examines Options for Kosovo : FBIS-EEU-98-176 : 25 Jun 1998
- Slovene Military Analyst on Kosovo–Part 3 : FBIS-EEU-98-265 : 22 Sep 1998
Source: Global Security
Note and all illustrations by Vladislave B. Sotirovic:
This article is written in very Western pro-terrorist way in order to give political support to Kosovo Albanian separatists and justify Muslim Albanian destruction of Christian Serb Kosovo inheritance followed by ethnic cleansing of the Serbs from the region. Nevertheless, even in such kind of articles the basic truth is unavoidable to be recognized that is underlined in bold. It is up to the readers to understand and interpret the text correctly if they want.
All underlining in bold by Vladislav B. Sotirovic.
For the Serbs as Christians, their loss of state independence and fall to the Ottoman Empire’s kind of theocratic state, was a terrible misfortune. With the advent of the Turks and establishment of their rule, the lands of Serbs were forcibly excluded from the circle of progressive European states wherein they occupied a prominent place precisely owing to the Byzantine civilization, which was enhanced by local qualities and strong influences of the neighboring Mediterranean states. Being Christians, the Serbs became second-class citizens in Islamic state. Apart from religious discrimination, which was evident in all spheres of everyday life, this status ...
TWENTY PRINCIPAL MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE KOSOVO ISSUE
1. Kosovo issue is a conflict between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs over the territory
Wrong: It is a part of the conflict between Balkan Albanians and the surrounding populations, in Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece (ex. clashes between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia from 1991 onward including and open rebellion in 2001
The issue is a fight of Albanians for their political rights
Wrong: The crux of the matter lies at the biological level. The real rationale is a demographic explosion which is going on within the Albanian population for a century or so ...
From the onset of NATO’s aggression from March 24 to June 11, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) flew over 35,000 combat missions over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Over 1,000 warplanes (among others F-15, F-16, F-117) and 206 helicopters were used in the air strikes. More than 20,000 laser or satellite-guided weapons were launched and over 79,000 tons of explosives were dropped, including 152 containers with 35,450 cluster bombs, thermo-visual and graphite bombs, which are prohibited under international conventions.1
The NATO forces justified the bombing of civilian targets as either "mistakes" or essential to the destruction of Milosevic and ...
BELGRADE – Amnesty of crimes during NATO aggression, bilateral legalization of Camp Bondsteel in a friendly milieu, settling the Islamic world with support to their communities in the Balkans and forcing Russia out of that same Balkans, are four reasons the US supports the independence of Kosovo, writes “Sputnik”.
Illustration – Photo: RFE/RL
On Christmas (according to Gregorian calendar) Michael Kirby shows up. Outgoing US Ambassador congratulates Serbia upcoming New Year. “The normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina implies Kosovo’s membership in the UN,” was the content of the “greeting card”.
Apart from some kind of formalization, Kirby’s statement is not new for ...
What could possibly go wrong? Refugees welcome! Not to allow these enemy combatants to return would be “Islamophobic”!
“Disguised as refugees and able to cross borders without being identified: ISIS general who blew up a hostage with a rocket and decapitated another prisoner is ‘back in Europe with 400 soldiers’ after fleeing Syria,” by Julian Robinson, MailOnline, December 29, 2016:
An ISIS general once pictured decapitating a prisoner is back in Europe with up to 400 of his most trusted soldiers after fleeing the war zone in Syria, it has been claimed.
Ex-NATO soldier Lavdrim Muhaxheri and his men are among thousands who ...
Because the request for its membership is a serious breach of the international law, the Constitution of UNESCO, the legally binding UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and the Charter of the UN whose Article 25 says that „The Members of the UN agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter”.
Because according to the UN Security Council resolution 1244, which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of the Republic of Serbia, under the administration of ...
Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo.
However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo did ...
In the period before the 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) waged a campaign to secede and establish an independent Kosovo dominated by Albanians and purged of every other ethnic group. In October 1998, KLA spokesman Bardhyl Mahmuti spelled the KLA’s vision: “We will never change our position. The independence of Kosovo is the only solution…We cannot live together [with Serbs]. That is excluded.”
Once NATO’s war came to an end, the KLA set about driving out of Kosovo every non-Albanian and every pro-Yugoslav Albanian it could lay its hands on. The KLA left in its wake ...
The U.S. calls it “Operation Status.” The United Nations calls it “The Ahtisaari Plan.” It is the U.S./NATO “independence” project for Kosovo, which has been a province of Serbia since the 14th century. With NATO’s 17,000 troops backing it, Kosovo’s government is set to secede on Feb. 6, declaring itself a separate country.
Kosovo’s president is Hashim Thaci, who was the leader of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK for its Albanian initials), which U.S. diplomat Robert Gelbard called “terrorist” in 1998, just before the U.S. started funding the UCK to use it against Yugoslavia. Thaci, whose UCK code name was ...
U.S. air strikes continue against the terrorists of the so-called “Islamic State” — formerly the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or ISIS — in the borderlands of Iraqi Kurdistan. American military action has been impelled by the genocidal ISIS threat to Christians and various small Kurdish and other religious minorities, including Yazidis, whose faith is linked to Zoroastrianism, and the ancient monotheistic community of Mandaeans. Meanwhile, questions about the extremist movement and its foreign recruits have spread throughout the Muslim lands and the Muslim minority communities in the West, from Belgium to Australia.
On Monday, August 11, authorities in the ...
The Christian Heritage of Kosovo and Metohija
The Historical and Spiritual Heartland of the Serbian People
Published by SEBASTIAN PRESS • BLAGO Fund • Serbica Americana • The Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America
ORDER THE BOOK
Source (official book's website): http://christian-heritage.eserbia.org/
Albert Berisha, charged with participating in terrorist organisations and on trial in Kosovo, said he travelled to Syria to help the moderate Syrian opposition but got trapped by ISIS fighters.
Ridvan Haqifi (left) and Lavdrim Muhaxheri (right), two ISIS Kosovo Albanian commanders. | Photo: ISIS propaganda video
Albert Berisha, a former Kosovar jihadist who travelled to fight in Syria, appeared before a Pristina court on Monday to recount his version of the story and maintain his innocence.
Berisha, who graduated in political sciences from the University of Pristina and holds a Masters degree from the University of Tirana, was arrested in 2014 and ...
Although the 2016 presidential election is still in the primaries phase, contenders have already brought up America’s failed foreign wars. Hillary Clinton is taking flak over Libya, and Donald Trump has irked the GOP by bringing up Iraq. But what of Kosovo?
The US-led NATO operation that began on March 24, 1999 was launched under the “responsibility to protect” doctrine asserted by President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. For 78 days, NATO targeted what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – which later split into Serbia and Montenegro – over alleged atrocities against ethnic Albanians in the ...
Italian police broke up an alleged jihadist cell in Venice who had celebrated last week’s terrorist attack in London and planned to blow up the city’s famous Rialto Bridge in the hope of killing hundreds of tourists. In a series of overnight raids, anti-terrorism police arrested three suspects, all of them Kosovars who were living in Italy.
Fisnik Bekaj, 24, Dake Haziraj, 25, and Arian Babaj, 27, were allegedly admirers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and were secretly recorded discussing how they were ready to die for the sake of jihad. A fourth person, an unnamed minor ...
History is in many ways a myth we create for ourselves. History is constantly falsified to justify wars and territorial claims. Albanian apologists have falsified the role Albania played in the Holocaust to justify an illegal US/NATO war against Serbia and to allow for the creation of a Greater Albania that would include the Serbian province of Kosovo-Metohija.
The Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Albania are estimated at 591 from 1941 to 1944, when a Greater Albania was sponsored by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. There were 33 known families of Albanian Jews living in pre-war Albania. The largest Jewish ...
Once again, U.S. air and naval forces are preparing strikes on Serbia’s army and police for refusing to stand down in Kosovo. And, once again, Americans are deeply ambivalent about intervention.
“Either we get in there with a NATO force, or we get the hell out,” said an exasperated Sen. John Warner after Yugoslav strong man Slobodan Milosevic showed two NATO generals the door.
Warner advocates intervention. But Americans sense that, despite our disgust at the latest massacre and Milosevic’s thuggery, no vital U.S. interest exists there. The Serbs do not threaten NATO; they have not attacked Americans; they are fighting to ...
Donald Trump, influential billionaire and a candidate for the president of United States, back in the 1999, as a guest of the famous host Larry King on CNN, spoke about that time ongoing topic of the bombing of Serbia.
Asked by Larry King, what does he think and what would he do if he was in Clinton's place, Trump criticized the decision to bomb Serbia.
“So, I would do something different and I know it will sound ghastly to everybody. But, look at the chaos which we created in Kosovo. I think, we can say that we lost only few people. Of ...
In the article “Kurdistan – Turkey’s Kosovo” Prof. Sotirović compared different aspects of Turkish Kurdistan case to the Kosovo one, found some parallels and pointed out Turkey’s hypocrisy.
While Prof. Sotirović is right in his assessment that Turkey is hypocritical to say at least, he failed to expose the fundamental differences between Kurdistan and Kosovo. His article contains some inaccuracies, misinterpretations and lacks in detail. Such an imprecise comparison may lead a reader who is not familiar with Balkans to acquire a false impression. A reader might come to conclusion that Kosovo Albanians had experienced the same level of suffering and ...
Accused of war crimes: the British Prime Minister Tony Blair
WAR CRIMES CHARGES FOR THE HAGUE AGAINST THE NATO LEADERS - ONE OF THE INDICTMENTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
NOTICE OF THE EXISTENCE OF INFORMATION CONCERNING SERIOUS VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE TRIBUNAL;
REQUEST THAT THE PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATE NAMED INDIVIDUALS FOR VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND PREPARE INDICTMENTS AGAINST THEM PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 18.1 AND 18.4 OF THE TRIBUNAL STATUTE.
Madam Justice Louise Arbour, Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Churchillplein 1, 2501 EW, The Hague, Netherlands.
President William J. Clinton, ...
Nestling in a wooded valley that its citizens laid their lives down to defend, the town of Kacanik in southern Kosovo is fiercely proud of its war dead.
Well-kept cemeteries include nearly 100 victims of Serb-led ethnic cleansing in 1999, while in the town centre, a statue clutching an RPG honours fallen members of Brigade 162 of the Kosovan Liberation Army.
But a decade and a half on from the war that brought about Kosovo's independence, there is rather less pride in Kacanik's new crop of warriors.
Infamous son: Lavdrim Muhaxheri, from Kacanik, in Syria
In the last three years, some 24 local menfolk ...
Kosovo history – Third part
Prof. Dr. Petar V. Grujić: Twenty principal misconceptions about the Kosovo issue (2014)
Civilian casualties of NATO’s war on Yugoslavia
Why US sees Kosovo as its 52nd state?
Islamic State top dog from Kosovo returns to Europe with 400 jihadis
Why Kosovo is ineligible for membership in UNESCO?
The myth of NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” in Kosovo
“We have the right to live”: NATO’s war on Yugoslavia and the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo
Kosovo secession linked to NATO expansion
ISIS and the Kosovar Albanians
Book: “The Christian heritage of Kosovo and Metohija: The historical and spiritual heartland of the Serbian people”, 2015
Former Kosovar jihadist recounts Syrian Odyssey
Kosovo: An evil little war (almost) all US candidates liked
Kosovo Albanian jihadists planned to attack Venice’s Rialto Bridge
Falsifying history: The holocaust and Greater Albania
Donald Trump: We created chaos, we should not have attacked Serbia!
Kosovo is not Serbia’s Kurdistan, but Balkan’s IS/Daesh
War crimes charges for the Hague tribunal against NATO leaders
Inside Kacanik, Kosovo’s jihadist capital