ad info
   middle east

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards





World - Europe

NATO: Strikes 'grinding down' Yugoslav military

The wreckage of the Yugoslav passenger train is inspected Tuesday

related videoRELATED VIDEO
Why is Russia so supportive of Yugoslavia? CNN's Ralph Begleiter explains. (April 13)

5.8 MB / 40 sec. / 240x180
QuickTime movie
Please enable Javascript
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K

Russia and the United States -- at odds over Kosovo. CNN's Richard Roth takes a look. (April 13)
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K

Most of the 'collateral' damage inside Kosovo has been caused by the Serbs, NATO says. CNN's Patricia Kelly has the report from Brussels (April 13)
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K

       Windows Media Real

       28 K 80 K
The Kosovo refugees

Burning flags and rock concerts:
Protesting the NATO strikes

Devastation of Kosovo capital

The Serbs and Kosovo
Serb troops cross into Albania, officials say

U.S., Russia can't bridge Kosovo gap

Gen. Wesley Clark describes NATO air campaign

Suspected mass grave spotted in Kosovo

April 13, 1999
Web posted at: 11:37 p.m. EDT (0337 GMT)

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Explosions echoed throughout Yugoslavia's second-largest city early Wednesday as NATO forces continued airstrikes they claimed were "diminishing and grinding down" the Yugoslav military.

Blasts were heard in Novi Sad, a city north of Belgrade on the Danube River, Serbian television reported. Novi Sad has been hit repeatedly in the three-week-old air campaign.

Serbian television also said NATO attacked the Bistrica hydroelectric plant near the southern Serb town of Nova Varos, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Belgrade.

In Washington, U.S. intelligence sources told CNN that aerial photographs have revealed what may be a second mass grave in Kosovo, possibly containing as many as 100 bodies.

Surveillance imagery pinpointed the suspected site near the town of Velika Krusa, about 20 miles (36 kilometers) northwest of Prizren, the sources said. They said they believed it held the victims of a massacre from late March, at about the time NATO airstrikes began.

On Sunday, NATO officials displayed pictures of a possible mass burial ground in Pusto Selo, southwest of the Kosovo provincial capital Pristina. The before-and-after photos seem to show "freshly turned earth" similar to what was seen at massacre burial sites in Bosnia.

The discovery of graves would support refugees' accounts of mass executions of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo at the hands of Yugoslav and Serb forces.

On Tuesday, Albania claimed Serb troops crossed its border and seized the town of Kamenica after firing at border guards and setting fire to homes. International observers said the troops withdrew after 40 minutes.

Yugoslav officials denied there was any incursion into Albanian territory and claimed its forces have come under attack in the area by Kosovo Liberation Army rebels.

NATO: Strike on Yugoslav train 'unfortunate'

At a briefing at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, NATO's top general said an attack on a Yugoslav passenger train on Monday was "unfortunate" but not intentional.

The NATO pilot had targeted a rail bridge in southern Serbia and was unable to see the train until the instant before his missile struck, said Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO's supreme commander in Europe.

Pentagon images show the rail bridge before and after the NATO missile struck  

The attack killed at least 10 people aboard the train and injured another 16, Yugoslav authorities said.

The pilot fired from several miles away and was steering the missile from the cockpit of his plane when, "all of a sudden, at the very last instant, he caught a flash of movement," Clark said.

At that point the pilot could not steer the bomb away from the train, he said. "It was locked, it was going to the target and it was an unfortunate incident we all regret," Clark said.

The pilot fired a second missile in an attempt to hit the opposite end of the bridge, Clark said. But by "an uncanny accident," the train had slid forward, moved across the bridge and ended up in the missile's path.

"In both cases there was an effort made to avoid collateral damage," Clark said. "We're sorry for it, because we are doing our absolute best to avoid collateral damage."

Clark showed reporters a videotape of the attack, in which the train darts into view on the bridge barely a second before the missile's impact.

Milisav Paic, a Yugoslav Foreign Ministry official in Belgrade, called Monday's deaths "a war crime done against innocent civilians."

Tripling NATO planes over Yugoslavia

NATO pilots have attacked bridges as part of the alliance's effort to disrupt supply lines to Yugoslav forces. The air campaign continued Tuesday, with allied commanders tripling the number of planes flying bombing missions over Yugoslavia.

Airstrikes concentrated on cutting off the flow of fuel to the Yugoslav army in Kosovo. Clark said the missions have damaged or destroyed about 70 percent of the country's petroleum storage capacity.

With fuel stocks depleted, commanders of the roughly 23 battalions in Kosovo are being told to avoid moving their troops, he said.

"He's taking fuel away from civilian consumption and trying to hoard it for military use," Clark said.

Clark said additional measures -- "diplomatic and otherwise" -- would be in place soon to further shrink the Yugoslav army's fuel supply.

During Tuesday's briefing at the Pentagon, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Wald said the skies were cooperating with NATO planes.

"The weather is improving, and we're flying around the clock more, and we have the ability to service all of Kosovo," said Wald. "So we're just taking the fight to the whole area."

Clark also said he would ask for hundreds of new planes from NATO nations, including about 300 from the United States. The new warplanes will bring the number of NATO aircraft in the Balkan campaign to nearly 1,000.

The allied air war against Yugoslavia is aimed at forcing Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to accept a peace agreement for Kosovo, a Serbian province.

"We are showing that the longer we go on, the stronger become our attacks and the weaker becomes Milosevic's war machine," British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said Tuesday.

Cook said Yugoslavia's petroleum supply is a "choke point" that NATO is attacking in order to hinder Serb-led Yugoslav troops and special police forces. The alliance says those forces have conducted a campaign against ethnic Albanian civilians in Kosovo.

Cook described that offensive as "a revival of fascism" that modern Europe could not tolerate.

"The Serb army now knows it has no real protection against our air attacks, and spends most of its time hiding and worrying," he said. "They know that with every passing day, the balance turns against them."

Attacks scattered across Serbia

An oil refinery in Pancevo goes up in flames 

Serb TV also reported attacks against:

  • Oil refineries in Pancevo and Novi Sad, both hit in other recent attacks.
  • A fuel depot east of Sambor, farther north of Belgrade.
  • A factory in the central Serbian town of Cacak, south of Belgrade.
  • Two bridges, one described as old, the other as new, in Krusevac.

Gen. Charles Guthrie, the British chief of staff, said the air campaign is taking a toll on Yugoslav army morale.

"Our attacks are having a noticeable and destructive effect, and units are becoming increasingly isolated," Guthrie said.

Keeping knowledge under wraps

Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said Tuesday that he was not aware of any spy activity on the part of Yugoslavs in the NATO operation, although they are a "fairly standard aspect of warfare."

"But I am very much aware, as are all the pilots and all the operators, that the enemy is trying to its level best to hear what we're saying to glean information from it," said Bacon.

"We, on the other hand, are obviously working very hard to make that more difficult," said the Pentagon official.

Albright, Ivanov meet

Meanwhile, the alliance was still pursuing diplomacy in hopes of finding a way to end the crisis in Kosovo, which has left nearly a million people displaced.

The United States and Russia, trying to resolve their differences on the matter, announced general agreement on basic principles Tuesday. But they remained at odds on key issues, including an international peacekeeping force for Kosovo.

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said her three- hour meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was "an honest discussion."

Tuesday's talks came one day after NATO ministers considered having Russian and other European troops join in enforcing a settlement in the province if Yugoslavia accepts peace terms.

Ivanov said Yugoslavia must approve any international peacekeeping force sent to Kosovo and he insisted airstrikes must stop before there could be a political settlement.

"The sooner NATO ceases airstrikes, the easier it will be to find a settlement," Ivanov said at a joint news conference after the talks in Oslo, Norway.

Albright said the two sides agreed, at least in principle, that there must be an end to repression, a pullout of Serb troops and police from Kosovo and a return of refugees to their homes.

NATO hits new targets as U.S. increases fire power
April 13, 1999
Yugoslav train hit during NATO strike; 10 dead
April 12, 1999
Refugees seek peace, security outside Balkans
April 12, 1999
On Orthodox Easter, religious leaders pray for peace, goodwill
April 11, 1999
Yeltsin warns of posslible world war over Kosovo
April 10, 1999
Refugee situation improves; U.S. says some used as shields
April 10, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

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

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • 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

  • Mercy International USA
  • Donations for Kosovo Refugees
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Mercy International USA
  • 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
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page

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

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.