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

Serbia announced that it had withdrawn a portion of its forces from the Kosovo border.

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

He stated that there had been a decrease in the number of troops from 8,350 to 4,500.

In late September, the relationship between Belgrade and Pristina became highly strained as Kosovo police engaged in a gunfight 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 occurrence of clashes raises concerns about a potential escalation.

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

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

NATO declared on Sunday that it plans to send an extra 600 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 the country 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 drone footage reveals Serbian assailants undergoing training.

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 comprehensive backing and strategic coordination from the Serbian government, aiming to incorporate the northern region of Kosovo.

On Monday, Serbia’s Defense Minister Milos Vucevic denied the 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, 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 mainly inhabited by ethnic Serbs.

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