Britain: NATO unleashing 'full weight' on Yugoslavia
Weather clears, opening up targets
April 4, 1999
LONDON (CNN) -- NATO forces will now unleash their "full weight" on Yugoslavia as bad weather over the region lifts, allowing the campaign of airstrikes to intensify, British military officials said Sunday.
The warning came the morning after another night of assaults by NATO around the Yugoslav capital Belgrade and in central Yugoslavia. Serb television reported that eight people were injured in the attacks.
Strikes continued into Sunday's Easter holiday, the day the world's Christians mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Britain's Armed Forces Minister Doug Henderson took note of the holiday, assigning blame for the continuing conflict to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
"There is action on Easter Sunday because President Milosevic is determined to drive the population of Kosovo into exile. We will not let this stand," he said at a news briefing. ( 386 K/25 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Yugoslav forces 'short of fuel'
Cruise missiles from ships in the Adriatic Sea pounded military command centers, bridges, fuel supplies and air defense installations in Yugoslavia, said Air Marshal Sir John Day, Britain's deputy chief of staff.
"The weather in the operational area is at last improving, and we confidently expect the full weight of NATO's air power will be brought to bear in the next few days," Day said.
Henderson said the bombings are beginning to take a toll on the Yugoslav army and Serbian special police, which NATO accuses of carrying out a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo.
"His forces are increasingly isolated in the field and running short of fuel and ammunition," Henderson said.
Pope offers prayer for peace
As refugees from the fighting in Kosovo continued to trudge toward Yugoslavia's borders, Pope John Paul II, the head of the Roman Catholic church, included a prayer for peace in Kosovo in his Easter Mass.
Meanwhile, Serb television reported that the NATO strikes had damaged what it described as a heating plant, a police academy and an oil warehouse in Belgrade.
At about 4:35 a.m. Sunday Belgrade time (9:35 p.m. EST) Belgrade was rocked by a large explosion. CNN reporters saw a fireball and an orange glow which lit up the sky.
Serb TV showed pictures of what it said was a thermal electric plant -- a facility which would make steam for heat and generate electricity -- in Novi Belgrade, or new Belgrade. They said five workers inside the facility at the time of the attack were hospitalized.
In addition, a police academy in Banjica southwest of Belgrade was hit, according to Serb TV, which said no injuries were reported there.
An oil refinery at Kraljevo near the city of Cacak in central Yugoslavia was also hit. Serbian TV says at least three people were injured by the attack in Kraljevo.
More bridges hit
Earlier Saturday, NATO destroyed a second major bridge in Novi Sad, blocking the Danube River and further isolating Serbia's second largest city.
Serb TV broke into programming to say that the Kamenicki Bridge had been hit around 8 p.m. Saturday local time (1 p.m. EST) by a cruise missile. Novi Sad is 80 km (50 miles) north of Belgrade.
An eyewitness said rescue divers were searching for one or two cars that were on the bridge when it was hit. Electricity was knocked out in the area.
Serbian TV also reported that a bridge 30 miles west of Novi Sad had been hit on Saturday.
NATO said last week when the first bridge was hit that the bridges were being used to support troops in Kosovo.
Saturday's strikes began with NATO's first attack in the heart of Belgrade since Operation Allied Force began. NATO missiles transformed two government buildings into massive fireballs.
Kosovo's huddled masses wait for sanctuary
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
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