The Turkish Defence Ministry announced on Saturday the deployment of a commando battalion to Kosovo upon NATO’s request following recent events in the region.
The commando battalion, previously part of the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR), is set to be transferred to Sultan Murat Barracks in Kosovo on 4-5 June.
Last weekend, clashes erupted in Kosovo between police, NATO soldiers, and masked militants believed to be supported by the Serbian state. The violence unfolded as the militants launched an organised assault on public buildings in northern Kosovo, resulting in numerous injuries, including at least 30 soldiers. NATO swiftly denounced the attack as “totally unacceptable.”
The current crisis traces back to April when Kosovo Serbs boycotted local elections, leading to a predominantly Albanian representation in the local councils. Tensions escalated when elected Albanian representatives attempted to access public buildings, only to be met with violence from militants backed by Belgrade, identifiable by their “Z” insignia, reminiscent of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.