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US

Pentagon details new attacks on Yugoslavia

Denies responsibility for Pristina devastation

April 8, 1999
Web posted at: 10:46 p.m. EDT (0246 GMT)

Photos of destruction in Yugoslavia  

Petroleum storage area  
AIFF or WAV
(1.5M/17 sec. audio)
Raska Highway bridge  
AIFF or WAV
(1M/10 sec. audio)

In this story:

NATO planes under fire

Human shields

Pentagon blames Serbs for Pristina demolition

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon on Thursday offered possibly the most detailed assessment so far of the damage inflicted by Operation Allied Force and of the dangers NATO pilots have faced in the skies over Yugoslavia.

Defense officials said cruise missiles had hit the largest petroleum storage facility in Belgrade's power plant, causing some power outages.

NATO attacks had also shut down production at the Serb's two main oil refineries. The result, Pentagon officials said, was to cut petroleum production by a third.

Aerial photos also showed the damage done to military sites.

"We have continued to pound away on the garrisons and continued to take out vehicular storage areas, maintenance areas, support buildings, barracks, and primarily where they have some of their armor and mechanized units and their heavier equipment and heavier ammunition," U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Wilson said.

"We have good imagery in the last few days that indicates these garrisons, two at Pristina and one at Urosevac, have been severely struck, and essentially they're more than 50 percent destroyed," Wilson said.

RELATED VIDEO
CNN's Jamie McIntyre details the Pentagon's assessment of the airstrikes (Thursday, April 8)
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The attacks on fuel and military and communication sites were "seriously disrupting" Yugoslavia's ability to supply and direct its troops in Kosovo, the officials said.

NATO planes under fire

Defense officials played several videotapes at the afternoon briefing, including some from Wednesday when the Pentagon said NATO attacked more than 22 target areas.

One tape came from a bomb camera on a Maverick laser-guided missile as the pilot of an A-10 aircraft targeted an abutment on a bridge that had previously been hit -- but was still being used.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Wald, the vice director for strategic plans and policy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, directed attention to the upper right hand corner of video as the pilot accomplished his mission.

"That's triple A, air-to-air artillery, being fired at this A-10," Wald said. "He's taking what we would consider moderate to heavy triple A all the way in on this run.

Another videotape from an F-16 showed a black streak in the upper portion of the screen that Wald said was a surface-to-air missile fired at the aircraft.

Human shields

Wilson was asked about the pictures Serbian television has shown of civilian protesters holding hands along the length of bridges in an apparent effort to protect them from NATO attacks.

"That does not protect them if they have volunteers on the bridges," the admiral said.

He also noted there had been only anecdotal rumors and reports of ethnic Albanians being used as human shields, which he called a "miserable tactic."

Pentagon blames Serbs for Pristina devastation

Wilson denied that NATO was responsible for the massive devastation in downtown Pristina. He said a telephone exchange had been hit by NATO and that that attack may have caused some collateral damage.

"But the rest of the damage being shown in Pristina was done by the Serbs," Wilson said. Wilson said Pristina was not the only city to bear the brunt of Serb forces.

"We have examined all of our sources of intelligence, what towns and villages have been damaged primarily by fires set by the Serb forces as they've gone through, as well as by shooting them up with artillery and tanks and those kinds of things," said Wilson.

The Pentagon also had photos of armored vehicles and trucks that had been abandoned on a road in southwest Kosovo after a convoy of special police was attacked by NATO aircraft.

Defense officials said they believed that by destroying bridges, they were forcing Yugoslav forces on to side road where they could more easily be targeted.

And despite the announcement of a cease-fire, those troops are still on the move, the Pentagon said.

"We do have indications that they have reduced the tempo of their operations subsequent to this announced unilateral cease-fire," Wilson said.

"However, we do know that combat operations are still ongoing, some of it still being initiated by the (Kosovo Liberation Army). And so, while the Serbs did announce a cease-fire and did pull back somewhat, there is combat operations ongoing," the admiral said.


RELATED STORIES:
Britain accuses Serbs of preventing Kosovars' escapes
April 8, 1999
NATO strikes target Serb ground forces, complicate GI release efforts
April 8, 1999
Yugoslavian borders closed, refugees' fate 'alarming'
April 8, 1999
Blasts shake Belgrade in dawn of third week of airstrikes
April 7, 1999
NATO reports 'breakthrough' against Serb forces
April 7, 1999
NATO defies Yugoslav cease-fire with more bombing
April 7, 1999
NATO rejects cease-fire, resumes bombing Yugoslavia
April 6, 1999
NATO rejects Yugoslav unilateral cease-fire offer
April 6, 1999
Airstrikes hit home in a small Serbian town
April 6, 1999
Support for ground troops swells in Congress
April 4, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

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


Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • 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

Relief:
  • 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 DisasterRelief.org
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page


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

Other:
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
  • Prayers for peace
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