US Intervenes In Kosovo

U.S. Army MPs from the 630th Military Police Company man a checkpoint near Vitina, Kosovo, on July 28, 1999. The MPs use the checkpoint to stop and search vehicles for weapons or explosives. Soldiers of the 630th are deployed from Bamberg, Germany, to Kosovo as part of KFOR. KFOR is the NATO-led, international military force in Kosovo on the peacekeeping mission known as Operation Joint Guardian.

On August 7 1998 the US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobia Kenya were bombed. The two embassies were both bombed at the same time by truck bombs. The bombings were the work of a local cell of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was led by Osama Bin Laden 213 people were killed in Nairobi including 12 Americans. In Dar es Salam 12 people were killed. In response President Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks on suspected Al Qaeda targets in Sudan and Afghanistan.

A Civil War developed in Kosovo where ethnic Albanians pushed for independence. The Yugoslav army tried to put down the KLA who was fighting for independence. In the course of the fight, the Yugoslavian enacted both ethnic cleansing and mass murder. As a result, the United Nations adopted a series of resolution that resulted in the activation of NATO forces. This initially forced the Yugoslavs to agree to the entry of observers. Despite the observers, the Yugoslav forces continue to commit atrocities such as 1999 the Račak massacre when "45 Kosovan Albanian farmers were rounded up, led up a hill and massacred.

There was a peace conference held at the Château de Rambouillet, outside Paris. When those talks failed because the Yugoslavs refused to go along with the terms negotiated, the matter was turned over to NATO to reach a military solution.

On March 24, 1999, NATO began a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. The NATO demand- that their troops leave Kosova replaced by peacekeepers. NATO flew 38,000 combat mission over Yugoslavia in ten weeks. The air campaign attacked individual Yugoslav units as well as strategic targets. However, it seemed it was not able to convince the Yugoslavs to withdraw. NATO member states began to threaten to send ground troops in. That was enough to satisfy the Yugoslavs to accept the peace terms offered by NATO. On June 10th NATO and Yugoslavia both agreed to the terms, and Yugoslav troops began withdrawing. The first NATO troops to enter Kosova were Norwegian Special forces on June 12th. The US 1 Armored Division were the first US forces to enter the country