In response to the recent violent clashes in Kosovo, a Turkish commando battalion, requested by NATO, has arrived in the Balkan country to assist in quelling the unrest. The Turkish Defence Ministry shared a video on Sunday showcasing the troops, adorned with the insignia of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force, departing from Turkiye and reaching Kosovo.
The clashes erupted following a confrontation when ethnic Albanian officials, elected in votes largely boycotted by Serbs, attempted to enter municipal buildings to assume office but were met with resistance from the Serbs. The situation escalated, leading to violent clashes that resulted in injuries to 30 international soldiers, including 11 Italians and 19 Hungarians, who suffered fractures and burns caused by improvised explosive incendiary devices.
To support the existing forces in the area, NATO announced its decision to dispatch an additional 700 troops. Currently, KFOR comprises approximately 3,800 soldiers, with around 350 of them hailing from Turkiye. In line with this reinforcement, a defense ministry official stated that approximately 500 Turkish troops would be deployed to Kosovo. The official requested anonymity, adhering to ministry regulations.
"The first convoy of the commando battalion attached to the 65th Mechanised Infantry Brigade Command (Luleburgaz) has completed its transit to Kosovo," read a tweet from the official account of the Turkish Defence Ministry. The battalion will join KFOR as a reserve unit, augmenting the existing peacekeeping efforts.
(With AP Inputs)