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The war in Kosovo: is Serbia will intervene if Turkey?
Material posted: Publication date: 15-08-2019
segodnyashniy the situation in Kosovo can be characterized as a conflict, which sooner or later will end the war. About this Colossal said military expert at the Center for strategic market Oleg Valetsky, when asked to estimate the probability that the tensions around the southern Serbian province will once again go into the hot phase, and to perform the capabilities of the Serbian armed forces to provide armed resistance to the illegally formed "army" of the separatist Kosovo.

According to Walecki, who in 1999 he fought as a volunteer in Kosovo and Metohija, to understand the actual alignment of forces in Kosovo must go back to prehistory as Kosovo or any other Balkan conflicts that followed the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the early 1990-ies. "Before I in 1999, I went as a volunteer in Kosovo, it took me four years living on the territory of Republika Srpska and could personally observe all of the processes that occurred in the Balkans at this time," he said. So, according to experts, the conflict in Kosovo was different from the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Bosnian conflict between Serbs, Muslims and Croats, but all of these peoples have common roots and speak the same language. "In Kosovo there was friendship between Serbs and Albanians. It was a constant confrontation," he said.

At the same time, the expert added, the Kosovo Albanians motivated by a desire to not only gain independence from Serbia. Albanian society in Kosovo and Metohija is arranged in a very specific way, the expert explained.

"The Albanians are divided into fishy — tribes. The strength of each FISA is determined by the strength of its members. The Albanians from Drenica have long been in a subordinate position in relation to other FIS, and rebellion in the early 1990-ies, as well as the ensuing war became an opportunity for them to get influence. Accordingly, Hashim Thaci("President of Kosovo". — Colossal), his colleague Suleiman selimi — it all came from Drenica. Ramush Haradinaj (former "Prime Minister of Kosovo". — Colossal) — comes from Metohija. It is two different clan, which war raised to the top of the hierarchy of Kosovo. Here politics played a very relative role in the more significant factor was these generic relations", — said the Valetsky.

In his opinion, at the moment when, in 1998, in Kosovo and Metohija began a large-scale conflict between Serb security forces and the so-called Liberation army of Kosovo, the Serbian army was able to end the resistance of the Kosovo Albanians. But in September 1998, the Alliance began to threaten Serbia's military intervention, if it continues anti-terrorist operation against the Albanian insurgents. At about this time, began when the threat from NATO in the structures of state security of the country, great changes have occurred, the expert reminded. "Slobodan Milosevic , under pressure of his wife Mirjana Markovicreplaced the chief of state security of the Jovica Stanišić and his Deputy Frank Simatović. The new chief of state security was appointed rade Markovic. This led to political tension in most of the Serbian authorities. We can say that the fall of Milosevic was a predefined fall in Kosovo. The NATO strikes that certainly helped, but, in fact, the Milosevic replaced NATO and the color revolution, and his own bureaucracy. Serbian police on 5 October 2000, were able to disperse the demonstrators, but she didn't want to do that. It was a controlled revolution," walecki said.

The expert also noted that in all the conflicts of the 1990-ies on the territory of the former Yugoslavia played an important role of its own intelligence services. Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito, after he came into conflict with Stalin in 1948, has created a very powerful intelligence Agency, which had to confront in the first place, the Soviet intelligence service. In addition, Yugoslavia was intensively developed the military industry, she helped US, France and Britain, continued Valetsky, noting that in 1950-e and 1960-e years the West is intensively supplied weapons in Yugoslavia. "Besides, this country was one of the founders of the non-aligned Movement. The products of the military-industrial complex Yugoslavia were exported to Africa and Asia. It was believed that Yugoslavia would not give the USSR the opportunity to put under the full control of the national liberation movement in this part of the world," added the Valetsky.

At the same time, he continued, in the security structure of socialist Yugoslavia military security was much stronger national security. "After the constitutional reform of 1974, when Yugoslavia was transformed into a Federation with a strong Union, the security organs of Yugoslavia, unlike the USSR, was part of the Ministry of interior. All these bodies were, in fact, divided between the republics, which led to their active participation in the process of disintegration of Yugoslavia and the subsequent war," — said the expert.

According to Oleg Valetsky, war, which in 1991 began in Yugoslavia, there was a war between different factions of the Communist party, which was subordinated to the Ministry of internal Affairs. Within the Ministry of interior as a separate Department operated and state security service. "On the other hand, the army has retained its single structure, and there, unlike the practice of the Soviet Union, the military intelligence and counterintelligence were a single entity. In the 1960-ies and 1970-ies the Yugoslav intelligence agencies had extensive experience abroad. The Yugoslavs worked extensively in Africa, Asia and Europe. You have to understand that many acts of liquidation of the representatives of the Yugoslav anti-Communist emigration in Germany could not be accomplished without the patronage of American or British intelligence agencies because Germany was a country under military occupation," — said the expert, adding that, when in 1991 the war began, the Yugoslav security services had not broken up.

"Yes, the army was divided between the Soviet republics, but cooperation between former employees of state security is preserved. What it led to? In the Balkan environment there are close tribal ties. In the Balkans the concept of party and ideology — a fairly relative thing. There was a merger of the structures of the security services, the various tribal groups, and — in part — criminal clans. They played a key role in the Balkan conflicts. All the intelligence agencies worked with these clans. If you look at Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro — all is a single space, where there are criminal clans. Not to say that some clan operates in Bosnia, in Montenegro, in Serbia," said the Valetsky.

Commenting on the readiness of the armed forces of Serbia to participate in some hypothetical new conflict around Kosovo, the expert noted that the widespread opinion that the Serbian army is completely destroyed, in fact not true. The armed forces of Serbia have 30-thousand personnel, four mechanized brigades, one of which is special, he recalled. The Serbian army is strong enough and well armed compared to other armies of the region (Hungary, Bulgaria) and able to withstand all of its neighbors, said the Valetsky. "Even the strongest army in the Balkans, Greek economic crisis, are experiencing large cuts. So that is not an issue of weapons here, more important problem — the influence of intelligence on the army," — said the expert.

The Serbian army is strong enough to resist any attacks by militants from Kosovo to Serbia, continued Valetsky. But he warned that a very important role in a possible conflict will play the first one to go to those boundaries after which the road back will be gone.

"In the Serbian society there is a "Patriotic party" — a few thousand football fans and representatives of different movements. Most of them never fought. In the North of Kosovo Serbs, and we need to understand that sooner or later the Albanians will try to get them under control. For the Kosovo Serbs is unacceptable, they will ask for the support of Belgrade. From Belgrade will be sent to the "Patriotic party", and the situation could spiral out of control," — said the expert, assessing the possible risks.

However, he drew attention to the fact that the current structure of the security forces of Serbia differs from the one that existed in 1990-ies, when Serbia was the so-called red berets, he continued. ""Red berets" — a system of active reserve members of the special forces. They had 800 soldiers in the unit, plus up to 10 thousand in reserve. It was prepared by trained people that you can call at any time. It is through this system of organized reserve forces of Serbia in many ways and could control events in Bosnia, the Republika Srpska Krajina, in Kosovo. Now it's all gone. Those guys of today who can come to the aid of Kosovo Serbs, are not prepared. They can arrange some kind of riot, but the bridge on the Ibar river that divides North and South Mitrovica, they will not pass. But it will give a reason the Kosovo Albanians to go straight to the cleansing of the Kosovo Serbs. This Serbia can't let that happen," he told the Valetsky Colossal.

Analyzing the scenario of a hypothetical military confrontation, the expert noted that Serbia today is in a bit of a different situation compared to 1999, when it was the active phase of the Kosovo conflict. According to him, the Serbian army has the advantage over the Albanians in the armor. But the North of Kosovo and Metohija is just uncomfortable to use because it is a canyon, where the technique will extend to a long column, said Valetsky. "And the southern Kosovska Mitrovica is very suitable for defense. The advantage in armor could occur on flat terrain. For example, in the case of a classical war by the army of Serbia is able to take Podujevo," he said. The expert also drew attention to the fact that the mountainous district of Kosovska Mitrovica in the direction of Kopaonik is not inhabited by the Albanians in the case of the invasion of Serbia in Kosovo will be able to introduce your group to the South through Central Serbia Kopaonik.

"Kopaonik to the defense is not prepared. 37th motorized brigade in which I served, was disbanded. This is no secret for the Albanians. If the Albanians is Kopaonik, their group can walk up to the city of Kraljevo. In principle, Serbia at the moment, the war is not beneficial. This war may lead to the fact that the Serbian troops will be stuck in the South of Mitrovica, the Albanian group will enter the territory of Serbia, including Raška, and this will cause a large mobilization of the Albanian national housing and population growth in the "army" of Kosovo from 5 to 55 thousand," — admitted the expert.

According to Walecki, "the Serbs are very often overestimate their strength". "They believe that every Serb is a born warrior who is always ready to fight," — said the expert. He added that the Serbs also underestimate their Albanian opponents, although in 1904 the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Serbia, a Committee was formed, which prepared an analysis of the combat abilities of the Albanians. "This document then in 1996 he published the Institute of contemporary history. It was written that the Albanians unorganized, but if you get them into an ambush, it could end up very badly because they are fighting to the end. In Serbian society, the greatest patriots are those who never fought. They believe that the Albanians immediately run. Personally, I can give you an example, when in the vicinity of the Doña Obrinje near Drenica, according to the headquarters of the Pristina corps (army of the FRY), 1 was 500 Albanians. In April our team took part in three offensive operations against them. The first time the Albanians called to the aid of NATO aircraft. Our positions were struck, killing eight scouts from our company. Then we refused to attack. A second attack over the fact that our infantry was ambushed. The third attack was made at the end of April. There were involved in our 37th motorized brigade, 57th Pristina infantry, division reserve squad SAI (Special anti-terrorist unit), several thousand soldiers with tanks. Then we were able to break through their defense," recalled the Valetsky.

The expert believes that such a war scenario, in which the army of Serbia went into Kosovo and Metohija from Northern Mitrovica is best suited Albanians, as it is mountainous terrain covered with forest. Cities are in the lowlands, and therefore difficult to use military equipment. According to him, the Albanian "army" still has no experience maneuvering, but "in ambush conditions they can fight to the end." He also stressed that the possible conflict is likely to interfere in the Islamic countries, especially Turkey.

"Under the control of Turkey now fighting a large number of militants in Idlib, they actively use anti-tank missiles. If war breaks out in Kosovo, Turkey, which has always been a patron of the Albanians, can send to Kosovo a few thousand fighters that will boost the combat capability of the Kosovo Albanians. It will be the fighters with a constant experience, including experience of firing from artillery howitzer caliber 155, 152, 122 mm," — said the expert.

Turkey, which protects the Kosovo Albanians, are very active in Syria and Libya, said the Valetsky. "It's a powerful armed force. The Albanians will seek support to them, not US. The President of the United States Donald trump is unlikely to intervene in the conflict. In Serbia in the so-called Patriotic circles do not take into account the technology of the beginning of any war. To ignite some kind of ethnic conflicts, it is necessary to find the "hot heads" who all will start. And then everyone will forget who started the fighting and why," said he. But at the moment for Serbia, it is wiser to avoid conflict and maintain a policy of supporting Serbian enclaves, advised the expert. For this, in his opinion, Belgrade needs to cooperate with Russia, the USA and Germany. "If the Serbian people will not be there, Serbia can forget about Kosovo," — says the Valetsky.

According to the expert, and today Kosovo is a potential flashpoint, as in the 1990-ies. "There's a war may break out any moment, when someone at some global level, press the button. Who that is is unknown", — summed up Oleg Valetsky.


Tags: Balkans

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