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U.S. sends spy planes to Balkans

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States will send several small, unmanned spy planes to the Balkans to assist in monitoring the tense border area between Kosovo and Macedonia, the Pentagon said Thursday.

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Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said that about 80 U.S. troops would also be dispatched to the region in the next few days to operate the "Predator" spy planes.

The "Predators" -- known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles -- contain small cameras that provide "real time" video surveillance of people and equipment on the ground.

Quigley described the deployment as a "seasonal thing," since the spy planes don't work as well during the harsh Balkan winter when most of the ground is covered with snow.

The Pentagon says it will be up to NATO and KFOR commanders to decide where the Predators will be based.



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RELATED SITES:
Macedonian government
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Kosovo Information
NATO
United Nations

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