On the march of KSF in S. Mitrovica, Mehaj: Regular military exercise; Rada Trajkovic: „Major escalation,“ without NATO’s permission

FOTO: Printscreen

After a video showing KSF members marching down the streets of what looks like South Mitrovica went viral on social networks this morning, Kosovo Defense Minister Armend Mehaj reacted, claiming that it was a military exercise.
„Today, the Third Regiment carried out a march that was planned for 215 of our soldiers. The march in Mitrovica started from the ‘Minatori’ barracks to the village of Svinjare and back to the barracks again,“ Mehaj wrote in a Facebook post.

He underlined that these „marches“ are held regularly, and appealed to everyone not to „give other connotations“ to such activities.

„The march has nothing to do with the security situation in the north of the Republic.“

At the same time, he pointed out that the responsibility for the „safety of our citizens“ rests with the Kosovo Police, which he described as being „at the top of its duties“ and that it „very successfully“ carries out its work.

„Don’t believe misinformation and fake news,“ Mehaj stated.

The video in question went viral on social networks this morning, accompanied by various messages.

The Belgrade-based tabloid Informer shared the video next to the title ARMORED VEHICLES, MILITARY TRUCKS! Kurti’s special forces are taking up their positions – surrounding the north of Kosmet! (VIDEO), noting that „a video of the so-called Kosovo Security Forces deployed in Kosovo and Metohija“ appeared on social networks.

Glas javnosti portal also wrote about this video with the title FULLY ARMED PRISTINA ARMY IN MITROVICA! This VIDEO is being shared on the NETWORKS – what is it ABOUT?

On the other hand, some Twitter users alleged that an „exodus of Serbs“ was about to take place.

Rada Trajkovic, an adviser to Kosovo Minister for Communities and Return, Nenad Rasic, described today’s events as a major escalation, taking place without NATO, that is, KFOR approval – despite the explanation of the Kosovo Defense Minister.

„Provocation and show of strength, I suppose. Unwise actions on both sides,“ she tweeted.

“Both Albanians and Serbs should be aware that our youth will lay down their lives if there’s a conflict. NATO will not fight our battles, nor do they have a mandate to do so!”

The crisis in the north of Kosovo is escalating daily. An ethnic Serb N.O. was arrested today at his workplace in North Mitrovica for allegedly participating in the May 29th clashes with KFOR, but also for partaking in the barricades in December, despite the information available at that time, based on confirmations from the EU, that the citizens who erected the barricades will not be charged.

Today, for the first time since the latest crisis broke out, the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Milan Mojsilovic, addressed the public, calling on KFOR “to protect the Serb people.” Mojsilovic also emphasized that the Serbian Army, if it receives an order from the Supreme Commander, will fully carry out its tasks.

Aleksandar Vucic and Albin Kurti met with European officials in Brussels yesterday. However, the public was not informed as to whether any progress was made at these meetings.

Although urgent de-escalation has been repeatedly mentioned since May 26, when special units of the Kosovo Police forcefully installed ethnic Albanian mayors, who were elected in the elections boycotted by the Serbs, into three northern municipalities, there is still no sign of it.

In addition to the arrest of Serbs, another issue that currently contributes to the new escalation is the arrest of three Kosovo policemen by the Serbian authorities.

International representatives are calling on Serbia to release them unconditionally, as they previously called on the Kosovo authorities to urgently withdraw special units and mayors from municipal buildings.

The Kosovo authorities claim that it was a kidnapping. The Serbian authorities state that they entered 1.8 km into the territory controlled by Serbian forces. In the meantime, the arrested policemen were detained.

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