A Turkish commando detachment is heading to Kosovo in response to a NATO request, the country’s Defense Ministry said.
“In response to a post-Kosovo request from NATO’s Joint Headquarters in Naples, a commando battalion attached to the 65th Mechanized Infantry Brigade has been assigned as a reserve battalion,” the Defense Department said in a statement.
The battalion is scheduled to be sent to Sultan Murad’s base in the self-proclaimed republic on June 4-5.
The Defense Ministry also stressed that Ankara calls on the parties to the conflict to show restraint.
Serbs continue their protests in front of the buildings of the municipalities of Zvecan and Leposavich in northern Kosovo, the organizers called on them to peacefully hold the actions.
On the evening of May 29, riots broke out in the municipality of Zvecan. The Serbs gathered in front of the local government building and demanded the withdrawal of the Kosovo police, as well as the recall of the Kosovo Albanian mayor. Their way was blocked by the Kosovo police and NATO armed contingent. They opened fire on the protesters, used batons, sprayed tear gas and threw about 30 stun grenades into the crowd.
During the clashes, 52 Serbs were injured, from the side of KFOR – 41 fighters, most of them Hungarians and Italians.
Representatives of the largest party of Kosovo Serbs, the Serbian List, on Wednesday began negotiations with the KFOR command to ensure security at the protests. On Thursday morning, Kosovo Serbs again gathered en masse in front of the Zvecan municipality, which was fenced off by the NATO military.
Serbian List party leader Goran Rakic said Thursday morning that NATO troops are also stationed at five intersections in Zvecan, and reminded that “the Serbs have no problem with KFOR.”