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

Serbia has withdrawn a portion of its forces from the Kosovo border.

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

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

In late September, there was a significant increase in tensions between Belgrade and Pristina due to a confrontation between Kosovo police and approximately 30 armed Serbs who had taken refuge in a Serbian Orthodox monastery.

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

The clashes have caused concerns about the possibility of further 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 aid from NATO.

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On Friday, the United States expressed concern about the Serbian military deployment and requested that the country 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 assailants undergoing training.

On Saturday, Albin Kurti, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, posted drone images on X (formerly Twitter) claiming that they depict Serbian paramilitaries preparing for the Banjska attack.

He stated that they had received extensive backing and coordination from the Serbian government, aiming to incorporate the northern region of Kosovo.

On Monday, Serbia’s Defense Minister Milos Vucevic dismissed this claim. According to his ministry, the individuals responsible for the attack were ethnic Serbs residing in the area who were frustrated with ongoing mistreatment from the Kosovo government.

According to his lawyer, Milan Radoicic, a member of Kosovo’s Serb List political party, 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)