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US

U.S.: Serb forces weaker but 'still responding'

Milosevic home
NATO airstrikes destroyed one of Milosevic's homes in Belgrade

 ALSO

Milosevic opens door to new peace talks on Kosovo

Milosevic home a legitimate target, British say

 MESSAGE BOARD

Crisis in Kosovo

 

Pentagon defends attack on Milosevic home

April 22, 1999
Web posted at: 11:27 a.m. EDT (1527 GMT)


In this story:

NATO 'not targeting President Milosevic'

Air war status report

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- NATO has inflicted damage on all four major routes from the Serbian heartland to Kosovo, cutting supplies to Yugoslav forces by half, the Pentagon said Thursday.

"We continue to work on bridges, which are more difficult," Navy Rear Adm. Thomas Wilson said.

Despite the attacks, Yugoslav forces are "still responding to political guidance and still conducting operations," he said.

The Pentagon also said the early-morning NATO airstrike on one of Slobodan Milosevic's Belgrade homes was a justified attack on a military facility and not an attempt to kill the Yugoslav president and members of his family.

NATO 'not targeting President Milosevic'

NATO described the Milosevic home that was attacked before dawn as a "presidential command post." Washington agreed. The residence is a military "command and control structure that includes bunkers," said Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon.

"We are not targeting President Milosevic or the Serb people," Bacon said.

Yugoslavia's government-run news agency Tanjug said Milosevic and his family were not inside the white, two-story hillside mansion in Belgrade's Dedinje district at 4 a.m. (10 p.m. EDT Wednesday) when NATO missiles struck.

Bacon called the Milosevic home part of the "central nervous system of the regime, the command and control system, that controls (Yugoslavia's) military and security forces."

Bacon
Bacon says the Milosevic home destroyed in a NATO attack was a key military command center  

"Much of (Yugoslavia's) military and security forces are run out of a variety of residences, office buildings and other facilities throughout the country, particularly in the Belgrade area," Bacon said. "They're all interconnected with (Milosevic's) political party as well."

NATO says Milosevic spends each night in different bunkers in and around Belgrade.

"We are targeting the military and the military infrastructure that supports the instruments of oppression in Kosovo," Bacon said. "We've been very clear about that from the beginning. There's been no change of our policy."

Air war status report

Wilson, director of intelligence at the Pentagon, used charts and surveillance photographs at the briefing to demonstrate allied progress in the air campaign, now in its fifth week.

He said attacks from the 19-nation NATO alliance had:

  • "Severely damaged or destroyed" 16 of Yugoslavia's early-warning radar sites that were "no longer available for use."

    Wilson
    Wilson says continued NATO attacks against Yugoslavia has increased Serb military desertions  
  • Badly damaged or wrecked as much as 30 percent of Yugoslavia's surface-to-air missile capability.

  • Destroyed 35 ground attack aircraft, reducing Belgrade's ability to use planes in Kosovo by about 50 percent.

  • Led to a drop in Serb military morale and an increase in desertions.

  • Completely destroyed Yugoslavia's ability to refine oil, and damaged pipeline-transfer facilities.

  • "Virtually destroyed" the Urosevac military garrison, a mechanized infantry division in southern Kosovo.

Wilson also said Yugoslav troops in Kosovo were facing a "resurgent Kosovo Liberation Army" in addition to the threat of NATO air-to-ground strikes. Although Yugoslav forces were still operational, they were not conducting "high-tempo or high-impact combat operations," he added.



RELATED STORIES:
White House: U.S. open to review of use of ground troops
April 21, 1999
20,000 Kosovo refugees to be allowed into U.S.
April 21, 1999
U.S. 'tank-killer' helicopters arrive in Albania
April 22, 1999
NATO beefs up firepower, doubles targets in Yugoslavia
April 21, 1999
Ground troops option to be reviewed by NATO leaders
April 21, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis


Relief:
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International


Media:
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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