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Serbia announced that it had withdrawn a portion of its forces from the Kosovo border.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 operational state of the units responsible for safeguarding the administrative boundary with Kosovo has returned to its usual condition.

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

Tensions between Belgrade and Pristina soared in late September when Kosovo police were involved in a shootout with around 30 armed Serbs who barricaded themselves in a Serbian Orthodox monastery.

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

There is concern that clashes may lead to an 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 among Western nations regarding potential instability in the Balkans.

NATO declared on Sunday its plan 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 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.

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 mentioned that they had received extensive assistance and coordination from the Serbian government, including a larger strategy to incorporate the northern region of Kosovo.

On Monday, Serbia’s Defense Minister Milos Vucevic dismissed the accusation, stating that the individuals responsible for the attack were local ethnic Serbs who were frustrated with ongoing mistreatment from the Kosovo government.

The lawyer of Milan Radoicic, a politician affiliated with Kosovo’s Serb List political party, stated that he confessed to orchestrating the assault.

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

Ethnic Albanians form over 90% of Kosovo’s population, but ethnic Serbs predominantly inhabit the northern part of Kosovo.

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