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Statement of Lt. Gen. John B. Sylvester, incoming COMSFOR

First published in
SFOR Informer#122, September 19, 2001


We all heard and saw on our radios and televisions on Tuesday the unfolding horror of the terrorist attacks on the United States of America. The extent of the death and destruction is not yet fully known. So many are wounded, so many grieve, and so many are still missing.
Only those who were there really know of the misery and terror. The rest of us can only guess at their distress. To the wounded and the grief-stricken, we send our sympathy. We hope our prayers will touch them so that they know they are not alone in their suffering at this terrible time.
The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina understand the suffering only too well. The horrors of war and terrorism are known to them; few here have been untouched in the past decade.
We in SFOR are determined to continue our mission to maintain stability in BiH. The essential operational activities of patrolling and guarding will not be interrupted, and we will continue our regular meetings and consultations at every level. We will not be diverted from the vital task of contributing to a safe and secure environment.
We have, of course, re-assessed the security situation and we have raised some security levels. These actions are merely prudent steps taken in response to the attacks in the United States.
It is vital at such a time that we act with a unity of purpose, and we have been reassured by the many calls we have received expressing sympathy for those who suffer. These messages are deeply appreciated, as is the unity they represent.
In closing, we want to reassure everyone that SFOR's determination to carry on with its mission is firm and unyielding.
Lt. Gen. John Sylvester, commanding

Related link: Statement by the North Atlantic Council