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World - Europe

NATO hits Montenegro, says Milosevic faces dissent

A flash from the NATO airstrike lights up the sky over Podgorica

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April 29, 1999
Web posted at: 9:53 a.m. EDT (1353 GMT)

In this story:

Opposition to Milosevic intensifying?

Clinton calls for patience


LONDON (CNN) -- NATO turned its sights toward targets in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro early Thursday, while allied officials said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was facing growing dissent in his ranks.

Despite its offer of neutrality in the conflict, Montenegro sustained its heaviest night of bombardment in the air war against Yugoslavia, which began March 24. A massive, yellow glow lit up the sky in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica and explosions were heard to the south of the city.

NATO struck the military airfield in Podgorica, from which the alliance says Yugoslavia's air force has launched air raids against ethnic Albanian refugees in Kosovo.

"There have been, we believe, a number of fighter aircraft sorties against refugees, but I can't comment any further about that," said Air Marshal John Day, the deputy chief of Britain's defense staff.

The democratic, pro-Western Montenegro is the junior partner in the Yugoslav federation with Serbia. While Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic has criticized the NATO air campaign, he also condemned Milosevic's policies that led to the NATO raids.

Djukanovic has the support of Montenegro's police force, but faces increasing pressure from the Yugoslav army and from Montenegrins who support Milosevic -- many of whom say Djukanovic's resistance is an act of treason.

NATO has warned Yugoslav federal authorities against any moves that might undermine the Montenegrin government. Attacks were also launched on the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade Thursday. Independent radio station Studio B said a military barracks was struck about seven kilometers (four miles) outside the city center.

Serbian media reported that two bridges over the Sava River were destroyed in Ostruznica, southwest of Belgrade; and other strikes reportedly targeted an oil refinery in Yugoslavia's second-biggest city, Novi Sad.

Day said NATO jets and missiles also hit the airfield in Pristina, Kosovo's capital, and Yugoslav troops and special police in the province.

A NATO missile strayed from its target and hit a house in Bulgaria, near the capital, Sofia, late Wednesday, alliance officials admitted Thursday. There were no injuries reported.

novi sad
An oil refinery in Novi Sad was targeted  

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said that a NATO jet had been targeted by a Serb surface-to-air missile and fired a missile at the radar site that spotted it. Shea said the missile missed its target and landed in Bulgaria.

Opposition to Milosevic intensifying?

Meanwhile, Britain's top diplomat said there were increasing signs of resistance to the Milosevic government.

Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said a "remarkably frank" interview with Social Democratic Party leader Vuk Obradovic was suppressed by Yugoslav authorities. Obradovic, a former Yugoslav Army general, had harsh words for Milosevic in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, Cook said.

Obradovic -- once Yugoslavia's youngest general and a former spokesman for the army -- is "no peacenik," the foreign secretary said.

"We can assume that one of the brightest stars of Yugoslavia's military elite would not have broken ranks alone," he said.

Vuk Draskovic
Draskovic was sacked after criticizing Milosevic's government  

Cook also cited reports from within Yugoslavia of short fuel rations and resistance to draft and reserve calls. His comments came a day after the firing of Yugoslavia's deputy premier, Vuk Draskovic, who said Milosevic distorted the truth about the NATO air war.

"President Milosevic has once again made clear his attitude toward the truth -- he's terrified of it," Cook said.

Clinton calls for patience

In Washington on Wednesday, a Congressional vote asserted lawmakers' authority over U.S. military action while U.S. President Bill Clinton hinted that the NATO campaign could last several more months.

The U.S. House of Representatives easily passed the Republican-backed resolution that requires Clinton to seek Congressional approval for ground troop authorization in the Kosovo conflict. Dozens of Democrats joined the Republican majority to pass the resolution.

Clinton met with a large delegation of congressional leaders Wednesday, urging them to be patient with NATO's air campaign.

"Historically, the weather is better in May than in April, better in June than in May, better in July than in June," Clinton said.

Aides said the president was signaling the airstrikes could continue through the summer. White House officials also said the president plans to travel to Germany next Tuesday to meet with U.S. troops supporting Operation Allied Force.

Correspondent Mike Hanna contributed to this report.

NATO hits Montenegro, says Milosevic faces dissent
April 29, 1999
New refugees describe forced evacuation, possible massacre
April 28, 1999
Psychological weapons added to NATO arsenal
April 28, 1999
Captured soldiers send first messages home
April 28, 1999
House OKs bill restricting Clinton's ability to deploy ground troops
April 28, 1999
Outspoken Yugoslav deputy premier sacked
April 28, 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

  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • 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

  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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