Serbia claims to have decreased the number of troops near Kosovo.

Serbia has withdrawn a portion of its forces from the border with Kosovo.

“On Monday, General Milan Mojsilovic, the Serbian Army Chief of Staff, announced that the units responsible for safeguarding the administrative line with Kosovo have returned to their regular operational state.”

He stated that the troop count had decreased from 8,350 to 4,500.

In late September, there was a significant increase in tensions between Belgrade and Pristina. This occurred when Kosovo police engaged in a shootout with approximately 30 armed Serbs who had taken refuge in a Serbian Orthodox monastery.

In the incident, one Kosovo policeman and three of the assailants lost their lives.

The clashes have caused concerns about a potential escalation.

Mojsilovic was surprised by the level of concern expressed by certain individuals regarding the presence of Serbian forces during the “security crisis.”

The occurrence in Banjska has caused worry in Western countries regarding potential instability in the Balkans.

NATO declared on Sunday its plan to send 600 more soldiers to Kosovo in order to support the existing KFOR peacekeeping force, which currently consists of approximately 4,500 troops.

As ethnic tensions escalate, Kosovo is requesting NATO’s aid.

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On Friday, the United States expressed concern about the Serbian military deployment and urged Serbia to withdraw its forces from the border.

“I cannot reword”

On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Barbock urged Serbia to reduce its troops and added tensions between the two countries must be reduced to maintain peace and security.

Kosovo claims that the drone images reveal Serbian individuals undergoing training for attacks.

Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Saturday shared drone images on X, formerly Twitter, that allegedly show Serbian paramilitaries training for the Banjska attack.

He stated that they had received “complete backing and strategic organization from the Serbian government” as part of a larger scheme to “incorporate” the northern region of Kosovo.

On Monday, Serbia’s Defense Minister Milos Vucevic dismissed this accusation. According to his ministry, the assailants were ethnic Serbs from the local area who were frustrated with ongoing mistreatment by the Kosovo government.

According to his lawyer, Milan Radoicic, a politician affiliated with the Serb List political party in Kosovo, has confessed to orchestrating the assault.

Serbia does not formally acknowledge the independence of Albanian-majority Kosovo, which unilaterally seceeded in 2008.

Over 90% of the population in Kosovo consists of ethnic Albanians, while the northern part of Kosovo is primarily inhabited by ethnic Serbs.

lo/msh (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)