Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Backfiring - 18th February 2003, 20.22

If anybody can recollect the other commitments that the British army faces at the orders of this government, cast your eyes to the protectorate of Kosova. The KLA was financed and trained in part by US/UK intelligence as a thorn in the side of Milosevic and a pain for most of Europe since, as these entrepreneurs moved from the business of liberation to the more profitable sideline of drugs and terrorism.

The KLA was trained, financed, supplied and assisted by American and British intelligence and special forces assets in their fight against the Serbs. Yet after June 1999, NATO and the UN's soldiers and administrators rapidly lost patience and sympathy with their former rebel proteges, as hardline extremist Kosova Albanians carried out a hugely violent campaign of reverse ethnic cleansing against Kosovo’s minority Serb population.

Now the army has become Pristina's policemen for these operations:

BRITISH troops have spearheaded a NATO-led operation to arrest Kosova Albanians indicted with war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, according to intelligence officials. Three Albanians were in NATO detention in Kosovo yesterday awaiting transfer to prison cells in the Hague. Yet within hours of the operation beginning, it transpired that the arresting troops had missed their main target, a former Albanian rebel leader turned politician named Fatmir Limaj. The operation, which began before dawn on the freezing winter streets of the regional capital Pristina, was the first time that ethnic Albanians from the province have been arrested on behalf of the tribunal. Troops from the 1st Battalion, the Staffordshire Regiment, based in Pristina, as well as British Army intelligence and reconnaissance teams, swooped on three Albanian suspects around 3am. NATO would not specify or clarify whether special forces teams from Britain's 22 Special Air Service regiment, had been used in the arrest operation.

We will have to see if there is an adverse reaction on the part of the hardline Albanian nationalists.


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