Some 200 British soldiers landed in Kosovo on Friday to reinforce the NATO contingent in the breakaway Serbian province, following last month’s incident involving ethnic Albanian police. A Turkish general will assume command of the force next week.
Members of the 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment joined the 400 UK troops already in Kosovo. Earlier this week, the Romanian government pledged to send 100 more troops as well.
These deployments “are a prudent step to ensure KFOR has the forces it needs to fulfill its UN mandate to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo,” the US-led bloc said in a statement.
NATO sent troops into Kosovo in June 1999, after waging a 78-day air war against Serbia on behalf of ethnic Albanian separatists in the province. The provisional government in Pristina declared independence in 2008, but has not been recognized by Serbia or about half the world’s countries, including Russia, China and India.