U.S. ship begins 3rd day of airstrikes
March 26, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- NATO's top official confirmed to CNN that a third day of airstrikes against Yugoslav military targets began Friday during daylight hours -- the first daytime attack in the campaign.
"I can confirm that this strike has taken place," NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana said during a live interview from Brussels. He would not elaborate.
CNN's Martin Savidge reported from aboard the USS Philippine Sea, a guided missile cruiser in the Adriatic Sea, that the ship's crew fired a single Tomahawk cruise missile about 2:20 p.m. (8:20 a.m. EST/1320 GMT).
President Clinton's national security advisers were to brief him later in the day.
Earlier Friday, Clinton took his explanation for the air assault directly to the country being attacked.
In a 15-minute videotaped message posted on the U.S. Information Agency's WORLDNET Web site and broadcast via satellite at 8:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. EST/0730 GMT) Clinton told the Yugoslav people the NATO attacks were aimed at the Belgrade government and its crackdown on ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright taped a message of her own for the USIA on Friday morning at the State Department. Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia, made her comments in Serbo-Croatian, one of several languages she speaks.
"NATO's goal is not to hurt innocent people," she said.
In an interview with CNN earlier on Friday, Albright said there had been no word from Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that he was ready to talk peace.
"Nothing positive" was coming from Milosevic through diplomatic channels that remain open, she said.
Also Friday, NATO's military leader told CNN that the long-range attack strategy will target Yugoslav ground troops once the air campaign weakens Yugoslavia's air defenses.
"We will do this ... as rapidly as we can," NATO Supreme Commander, Gen. Wesley Clark said without giving a specific timetable. "It's part of the campaign plan."
In his Web-posted taped message, Clinton said Milosevic could have avoided the NATO military strikes by accepting a U.S.-brokered peace deal.
He called on "all Serbs and all people of good will to join with us in seeking an end to this needless and avoidable conflict."
U.S.: Milosevic won't budge
TIME Daily: A Kosovo Primer
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