Turkey to send commandos to Kosovo at NATO’s request

Turkey has decided to send its peacekeeping forces to Kosovo in response to a NATO request to join the peacekeeping operation after unrest in the north of the region.

In a statement, the Turkish defence ministry called the parties for restraint and constructive dialogue to resolve the crisis that could harm regional security. It comes amid a new political crisis and tensions between Kosovo local authorities and ethnic Serbs.

“After the events in Kosovo, at the request of the Allied Command of the NATO Allied Forces, a special forces battalion of the 65th Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Command, which was previously allocated to the NATO Force in Kosovo (KFOR), will be deployed as a reserve unit,” the statement said.

According to the plan, the deployed unit will be transferred to the Sultan Murat barracks in Kosovo on June 4-5.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense also called for a restrained and constructive dialogue to resolve the crisis, which could harm security and stability in the region.

After the election of new mayors, protests broke out in Serbian communities in northern Kosovo. Protesters attacked NATO peacekeepers with incendiary devices and stones in the village of Zveçan.

30 Italian and Hungarian soldiers and more than 50 Serbs were injured.

In the midterm elections, which Serbs boycotted at the behest of the government in Belgrade, politicians of Albanian origin won with a turnout of less than 4%.

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani confirmed that Kosovo is ready to organize new elections in the north. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti also spoke about the possibility of repeated elections. However, according to him, the condition for this should be the withdrawal of Serbs from the buildings of local councils and the cessation of their violent protests.

Osmani noted that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had made such a request.

Read also: Serbian army deployed near Kosovo border as tensions rise

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