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World - Europe

Blair: 'No deal' for Milosevic

damaged building
Damaged building in Nis

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The Kosovo refugees

Protesting the NATO strikes

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NATO officials describe the air campaign

'No quick fix' to war says Britain's Guthrie

April 20, 1999
Web posted at: 10:20 a.m. EDT (1420 GMT)

In this story:

'No quick fix'

Humanitarian mission


BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed Tuesday that there would be "no deal" with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to end the NATO bombing of Serb targets, aimed at forcing Milosevic to accept a peace deal for Kosovo.

Asked about NATO's determination in light of the fact that Milosevic has shown no sign of stepping down, Blair said, "The solution is very simple: We will carry on until he does step down."

"There is no question of making some deal or compromise with Milosevic," Blair said, speaking at a Brussels news conference with NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana. "We have set out our demands and objectives and they will be met in full because they are the minimum demands that we can, in all humanity, make."

Later, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said that NATO did not intend to force Milosevic to step down from his leadership of the Balkan country, but did say bombing would continue until he "backed down" from his refusal to accept NATO terms for peace.

"I have always said that Milosevic's future is up to the Serbian people," Shea said.

Overnight Monday and Tuesday morning, NATO launched intense overnight air raids on targets across Yugoslavia, Serbian television reported, while U.S. officials said paratroopers from the U.S. 82nd Airborne were being deployed to Albania to protect a fleet of 24 Apache tank-killing helicopters en route to the Balkans.

U.S. Army officials said 700 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne were being deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the Albanian capital Tirana to protect the Army Apache tank-killing helicopters, 24 of which were expected to arrive Tuesday if the weather holds.

In addition to the paratroopers, 2,300 support personnel were deployed to accompany the Apache helicopters.

Some of the 82nd Airborne troops were already in Tirana, but others were still in the process of leaving Fort Bragg, officials said.

'No quick fix'

NATO's air attacks against Serb forces in Yugoslavia continued overnight, targeting oil supply facilities, communication systems and military targets, according to British military spokesman Gen. Sir Charles Guthrie. And they will continue, Guthrie said Tuesday, until NATO's objective -- to make it possible for Kosovar Albanians to return to their homes -- is reached.

"This is a large-scale campaign against attrition," he said. "There is no quick fix."

"We are going to demonstrate ... the determination of the allies to see this through to the end no matter how long it takes," Shea said in Brussels. "Our values and security will suffer if Milosevic is allowed to continue."

"We are going to demonstrate ... the determination of the allies to see this through to the end no matter how long it takes," Shea said in Brussels. "Our values and security will suffer if Milosevic is allowed to continue."

Serbian television said a satellite ground station in Prilike, about 80 miles (130 km) south of Belgrade near the central Serb town of Ivanjica, was damaged.

Serbian TV said one person was killed in overnight raids late Monday and early Tuesday, and 11 others were injured in a strike on Nis, a city about 125 miles (200 km) southeast of Belgrade that has come under heavy attack in Operation Allied Force. A tobacco industry plant suffered heavy damage there, and residential buildings and a factory warehouse were hit, Serb TV said.

Four people were wounded in Nova Varos, about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Belgrade, near a major railroad linking Belgrade and the Montenegran port city of Bar, Serbian TV said. A bridge on the same rail line was attacked last week.

Explosions jolted Pristina and a village to the north of the Kosovo capital. Serb TV said the factory Krusik, a repeated target in Valjevo, was hit again. It showed video of an explosion and damaged residential buildings.

Humanitarian mission

British and NATO officials stressed Tuesday that NATO's mission was a humanitarian one aimed at helping hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians they say have been forced from their homes by the Serbs' systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.

NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana said during a joint news conference with Blair in Brussels that the alliance's fight was with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, "not the Yugoslav people."

"President Milosevic alone has the power to end this," Solana said. "He knows, and we know, that he must do so."

"Our task is very simple, and our will in seeing it through must be absolute," said Blair . "That is to defeat this policy of ethnic cleansing, to defeat that Serb machine which is engaged in this policy of ethnic cleansing, to defeat the ambitions of Milosevic who has promoted that policy of ethnic cleansing. And we will carry on with that determination until we have succeeded."

The Serbs' ethnic cleansing operations had now spilled over into Montenegro, Shea said, underscoring NATO's desire to stop Milosevic.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook announced that Britain would turn over detailed intelligence reports on Serb actions in Kosovo to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

"What is happening in the killing fields of Kosovo is unforgivable," said Cook, who termed the Serb's actions in Kosovo a "sustained campaign of brutality" and an "almost daily catalog of murder."

In London with Cook, tribunal chief prosecutor Louise Arbour reiterated statements she made last week that the tribunal needs the aid of individual nations to amass the evidence it needs to prosecute war crimes.

"We will take the cases to court on the basis of admissible credible evidence that will support the charges," she said. The sole impediment to us bringing charges is our own assessment of the evidence."

NATO launches fresh round of raids, Serbs say
April 19, 1999
NATO bombs hit several Yugoslav cities
April 19, 1999
Five ethnic Albanians killed when vehicle hits land mine
April 18, 1999
U.S. holding Yugoslav officer as POW
April 16, 1999
Macedonia fears it could become KLA staging ground
April 16, 1999
Official Pentagon statement on captured Yugoslav soldier
April 16, 1999
Yugoslavia rejects U.N. peace plan for Kosovo
April 16, 1999
Active duty ahead for thousands of reservists
April 16, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

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

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • 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

  • Kosovar doctor helps refugees one at a time
  • Mercy International USA
  • Donations for Kosovo Refugees
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Unicef USA
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Disaster Relief from
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page

  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

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