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Updated: 18 June 1999 Operational Update

NATO HQ

18 June 1999
1000

Update on Operation Joint Guardian

Withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo and the corresponding deployment forward of KFOR forces remains on schedule.

Serb units have maintained the pace of withdrawal over the last 24hrs; over three quarters of all Serb ground forces have now left Kosovo. As a result, Zone II is now virtually empty of Serb forces and we expect that complete withdrawal by tonight, in accordance with the Military Technical Agreement, will be achieved. Similarly, movement out of Zone III continues, although logistic difficulties, including the shortage of equipment transporters, are hampering removal of heavy vehicles.

KFOR forces are moving into Zone II as planned in order to avoid any security vacuum as Serb forces withdraw. Over 16,000 KFOR forces are now in Kosovo with additional forces continuing to arrive. Gen. Jackson now has a total of about 27,000 troops under his command.

The current operational focus of KFOR forces is to establish a secure environment. High visibility patrols have been increased to encourage confidence among all ethnic groups that law and order is being restored by KFOR troops.

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