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World - Europe

Clinton makes direct peace appeal to Serbs

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Serb TV says Thursday's air attacks caused this fire in Kraljevo, Yugoslavia

RELATED VIDEO
Watch President Clinton's speech to the Serbian people Friday
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The British Defense Ministry showed video Friday of what it said was a missile from a Harrier jet hitting a Serbian target
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rubble
 ALSO:
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Refugees continue to flee Kosovo fighting

InteractiveIMAGE GALLERY:
NATO strikes Yugoslavia: Day One

 MESSAGE BOARD
Crisis in Kosovo
 

NATO may launch air attacks against Yugoslav troops

March 26, 1999
Web posted at: 9:07 a.m. EST (1407 GMT)


In this story:

Strike on Yugoslavia

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- U.S. President Bill Clinton on Friday made a direct appeal to the Serb people, saying NATO had no quarrel with them and would like to find a quick resolution to the Kosovo crisis.

In a videotaped satellite message, also posted on a U.S. government Web site, Clinton explained NATO's reasons for conducting airstrikes.

Also Friday, NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Wesley Clark said that NATO so far had only targeted Serb military facilities but might also launch air attacks against Yugoslav troops, should President Slobodan Milosevic not agree to peace in Kosovo.

If Milosevic did not stop attacks in Kosovo, then "I assume that we will get additional military objectives or we will continue to work," he told CNN.

However, Clark declined to elaborate on what exactly that would involve or when it would happen.

NATO member Britain on Friday vowed to stop "Milosevic's murder machine" unless the Serb president ended his crackdown against ethnic Albanians in the Serb province of Kosovo.

NATO strikes were expected to resume later on Friday, for a third straight day.

CNN Correspondent Martin Savidge, aboard the USS Philippine Sea in the Adriatic, reports that a Tomahawk cruise missile was fired Friday from the ship, marking the first time that such a missile was fired in daylight hours in the current campaign.

China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, on Friday again called for an immediate end to the NATO airstrikes. President Jiang Zemin said all parties involved should "insist on peaceful negotiations to find a political solution" to the crisis.

Clinton's message to Serbs

In a taped speech beamed out via satellite -- and also posted on the Web site of WORLDNET, the U.S. Information Agency global information network -- Clinton told Serbs that NATO and the U.S. had "no quarrel" with the people of Serbia. But he added that Milosevic had "diminished your country's standing in the world."

"I call on all Serbs and all people of goodwill to join us to seek an end to the needless and avoidable conflict," Clinton said in his address.

British Defense Secretary George Robertson, speaking at a news conference Friday, accused Milosevic of deliberately destroying Yugoslav democracy and of continuing "ethnic warfare" in Kosovo.

Robertson said NATO would carry on with the bombings in order to stop "Milosevic's murder machine."

Albright: Air campaign not over

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Friday also reaffirmed the alliance's view that Milosevic was the "cause of instability in Europe."

Albright also told CNN said that the air campaign was not over yet.

Reprisals feared

The U.N. refugee agency said Friday it feared Serb reprisals against Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority now that international observers and relief workers have left.

"With only a handful of independent observers left on the ground, we are extremely worried about the plight of Kosovo's civilian population, which has already been through a terrible ordeal," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata said in Geneva.

Second night of attacks

In the second night of attacks Thursday, at least 23 cruise missiles were launched from U.S. warships in the Adriatic Sea beginning at about 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EST). Dozens of NATO jets took off from Italy.

Pentagon sources said the new strikes were primarily carried out by aircraft, including U.S. F-117A stealth fighters and B-2 stealth bombers.

Clark told CNN Friday that all NATO aircraft returned to base safely after the second wave of attacks.

State-run television in Serbia, the main Yugoslav republic, quoted a government official as saying the second night of NATO attacks caused civilian casualties and targeted schools and telecommunications networks.

The NATO strikes hit inside Kosovo around its provincial capital, Pristina, the northern town of Kosovska Mitrovica and the southwestern town of Prizren, media in Yugoslavia said.

Serbian TV said three missiles hit a police station on a military base, injuring one policeman and leaving two others missing.

A Belgrade city official said there was "heavy activity" by warplanes attacking targets outside the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade.

The official Tanjug news agency reported that an airport in the central Serbian city of Nis had been hit and was in flames.

Local television broadcast appeals for blood donors after 10 explosions rattled Kraljevo, 75 miles south of Belgrade, the independent Beta news agency said.

A NATO missile hit Djakovica, near the Kosovo-Albanian border, missing an army compound, Tanjug reported. "The material damage is substantial, and there are casualties," it said.
RELATED STORIES:
NATO halts second night of airstrikes
March 26, 1999
U.S.: Milosevic won't budge
March 25, 1999
U.S.-Russia relations wounded by NATO airstrikes
March 25, 1999
Pentagon: Day 2 of NATO strikes will be severe
March 25, 1999
Russia, China demand end to NATO bombings
March 25, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Independent Yugoslav radio station B92
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Facts
Kosova Crisis Center
NATO Official Homepage
Kosovo and Metohia
U.S. Navy
  • Photo of missile firing Wednesday
Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR)
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