NATO destroys Milosevic's party headquarters
April 21, 1999
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- NATO airstrikes rocked Belgrade early Wednesday with massive explosions that shot bright orange flames high into the sky and torched the offices of Slobodan Milosevic's ruling party.
At least two cruise missiles struck the 23-story building that is home to the executive offices of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia. The building contains a large radio and TV transmission unit on top of it, CNN's Brent Sadler reported from the scene.
The building also houses the offices of TV Pink, a popular entertainment studio that has been involved with recent anti- NATO protests, and Kosava radio and TV, owned by Milosevic's daughter Marija.
"At least the top two stories are ablaze, and the bottom three or four stories ablaze. And in the middle, between the two sets of flames, lights are still burning," Sadler said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries, but a woman who works an earlier shift in the building told Serbian TV that there is an overnight crew that works in the building.
Serbian TV reported the Krusik factory, a repeated target in Valjevo, was hit again. The report said a residential area was struck, injuring one person, and that it was the strongest attack in Valjevo, about 45 miles (70 km) southwest of Belgrade, since the bombing campaign began in late March.
Novi Sad, Yugoslavia's second largest city, reported attacks on an oil refinery, a railway bridge and a Serbian TV transmitter that knocked out television broadcasts in the region.
Strikes were reported in a village near the central Serb town of Kraljevo, which has come under repeated attack, and Cacak, about 60 miles (100 km) south of Belgrade.
No consensus on ground troops
In Washington, officials said there is no NATO consensus for sending in ground troops and, with the campaign focused on airstrikes, the strategy now is to explore the tightening of sanctions against Yugoslavia, especially ways to bar oil shipments from getting in the hands of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
"We will consider new economic measures designed to deny Belgrade the ability to wage war against its own people, such as an embargo on oil products," Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said.
Defense Secretary William Cohen said: "We think it's important that all sources of resupply of fuel and energy be eliminated. How that is to be achieved is a matter of discussion. ... We're looking for the most appropriate and expeditious way of doing it."
In Brussels, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea echoed those sentiments when asked about reports of oil still coming into Yugoslavia from other countries. Shea said NATO was still working on ways to cut that flow, but no decisions had been reached.
Shea said that the Yugoslav army were driving people out of their homes and toward southern Kosovo in a "safari operation" but not allowing them to cross the border. He said on Monday a train was sent south from Pristina but stopped near the border and sent back.
"What we are seeing is a safari operation ongoing by Serb security forces against Kosovo Albanians," Shea said.
He said Milosevic was driving people to the south apparently so he could cause a "surge" of refugees and that there is evidence that indicates Yugoslav forces were engaged in ethnic cleaning inside Montenegro.
Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said Pentagon officials are looking into those reports.
"These are obviously extremely disturbing and we're looking further at them," Bacon said.
Bacon said airstrikes are making life difficult for Serb forces, but NATO still has plenty of work to do.
"Nothing we've seen so far is a clear stop to their operations. What we're seeing is signs that we're grinding them down, but it's slow, and it will require a lot more attacking on our part and NATO is prepared to do that," he said.
British PM vows no deal
Earlier on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Tony Blairvowed there will be "no deal" with Milosevic, and U.S. and NATO officials pledged to seek tighter sanctions "to deny Belgrade the ability to wage war against its own people."
In other developments:
"I am sure the full range of issues involving Kosovo will be discussed, but I believe that the consensus in NATO very clearly is to stay the course," National Security Adviser Samuel Berger said
The official said Yeltsin agreed that U.S. and Russian diplomats, including Albright and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, should continue to talk on a possible solution for the security force.
"It is an alternative that has serious prospects for potentially working," the official said.
Andrea Angeli, OSCE spokesperson, told CNN the gunfire took place at the Qafa Prush border post, about 30 miles north of Kukes. The OSCE does not know who started the firefight.
Tuesday's clash, according to the OSCE spokesperson, is the first confirmed exchange of fire between the Albanian military and Yugoslav troops since the conflict with Yugoslavia began.
Croatia complained to the U.N. Security Council that between 200 and 300 soldiers of the Yugoslav Army were blocking traffic at the border in violation of an agreement between Croatia and Yugoslavia.
In London, asked about NATO's determination in light of the fact that Milosevic has shown no sign of giving in, Blair was emphatic that there is no room for a deal.
"There is no question of making some deal or compromise with Milosevic. We have set out our demands and objectives and they will be met in full because they are the minimum demands that we can, in all humanity, make," said Blair.
"I think there is a proper sense of moral outrage at what Milosevic has done that we should not shy away from but should be proud of feeling."
Blair: 'No deal' for Milosevic
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