UK to send 600-strong battalion to Kosovo

Britain said on Tuesday it had agreed to a NATO request to send a reserve battalion to bolster an alliance peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

UK to send 600-strong battalion to Kosovo
Britain said on Tuesday it had agreed to a NATO request to send a 600-strong battalion to bolster an alliance peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

"We are ... well prepared to meet NATO's request and I have agreed to deploy our Operational Reserve Force battalion until June 30, 2008," Defence Secretary Des Browne said in a written statement to parliament.

The troops are from the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, a light infantry unit. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the battalion numbered about 600 soldiers.

NATO has asked Britain to deploy the troops by the end of May, he said.

The troops have been on standby since January, before Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17 in a move that had Western backing but was rejected by Serbia and its ally Russia.

They will supplement some 16,000 NATO-led peacekeepers already in Kosovo.

Reuters

Last Mod: 30 Nisan 2008, 09:08
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