Select Committee on Defence Fourteenth Report



16 December:NATO Foreign Ministers confirm NATO's interest in stability extends beyond Bosnia to the surrounding region, and express concern at escalating ethnic tension in Kosovo.
28 February:Yugoslav military and Serbian police launch a major "clearing up" operation in the Drenica area in response to an ambush of a military convoy; ethnic Albanian sources claim that "at least eighty" civilians were killed. Further operations continue till 8 March.
5 March:North Atlantic Council expresses "profound concern" over events in Kosovo, singling out the violent break-up of a demonstration in Pristina on 2 March. The Alliance also condemns all acts of violence, and the use of terrorism to achieve political ends. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook holds talks in Belgrade with President Milosevic and Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic. Mr Cook also meets with ethnic Albanian representative Dr Fehmet Agani. No progress is reported.
9 March:The Contact Group meets in London to discuss options. It calls on Milosevic to withdraw his country's special police from the territory of Kosovo within 10 days.
10 March:The Foreign Secretary makes a statement in the House of Commons. Mr Cook condemns the violence in Drenica and reiterates the Contact Group's demands. US envoy Robert Gelbard meets Milosevic in Belgrade. He also meets with ethnic Albanian leaders in Pristina.
11 March:Foreign Office Minister Tony Lloyd meets with Serb officials and the Yugoslav Foreign Minister in Belgrade in order to discuss the Contact Group's demands. The Serbian government issues an "invitation" to unspecified Albanians "representatives" to start "a dialogue". Most fail to attend.
17 March:Foreign Secretary Robin Cook delivers a message to Dr Rugova on behalf of the European Union presidency, urging him to take part in talks with the Serbian or Yugoslav authorities.
19 March:The German and French foreign ministers hold talks with President Milosevic and Albanian representatives in Belgrade.
22 March:Ethnic Albanians hold unofficial elections; Dr Rugova is re-elected "president" of Kosovo with over 99 percent of the votes cast.
27 March:Bronislav Geremek, the Polish Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office, visits Belgrade and Pristina.
31 March:UN Security Council Resolution 1160, co-sponsored by the UK, imposes an arms embargo on Yugoslavia and calls for the start of a "meaningful political dialogue".
21 April:Federal Yugoslav military closes the country's borders with Albania and Macedonia and reinforces the border guards.
27 April:The European Union's General Affairs Council bans investment in Serbia and imposes visas on senior Yugoslav figures.
6 May:The North Atlantic Council examines choices for a more intensive Partnership for Peace link with the military of Albania and Macedonia and orders a study on a possible Alliance contribution to the policing of the Albanian-Yugoslav border.
9 May:US envoys Richard Holbrooke and Robert Gelbard arrive in Belgrade.
10 May:The Group of Eight most industrialised states [the G8] with the exception of Russia agrees to freeze the foreign assets of Yugoslavia and order an investment ban. Holbrooke and Gelbard arrive in Pristina.
15 May:Ibraham Rugova and President Milosevic meet in Belgrade.
16 May:On the sidelines of the G8 meeting in Birmingham, a meeting of foreign ministers of the Contact Group takes place. It stops the investment ban on Yugoslavia, and welcomes the start of the dialogue between the Albanians and Serbs.
22 May:The Rugova and Milosevic negotiating teams (created as a result of the meeting between the two leaders on 15 May) meets for the first time.
26 May:Most of the political parties represented in Kosovo's "parliament" make an appeal for international military intervention in Kosovo; the call is repeated periodically by each political party over the next few days. Sporadic violence is reported in villages adjacent to the border with Albania.
28 May:NATO Foreign Ministers express "concern" at situation and "deplore" continuing violence. The territorial integrity of Yugoslavia is reaffirmed, but so are demands for a political process. The Alliance announces further steps to enhance cooperation activities with neighbouring countries. Dr Rugova and senior members of his "government" arrive in Washington; they are received by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
8 June:The European Union's General Affairs Council decides to proceed with the investment ban on Yugoslavia.
10 June:Foreign Office Minister Tony Lloyd arrives in Belgrade for discussions with Serb and Albanian leaders. He also travels to Montenegro.
11 June:Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook meet Dr Rugova's delegation in London. NATO Defence Ministers direct the Alliance's military to assess a "full range of options" for operations that might be necessary in the search to a solution in Kosovo.
12 June:Contact Group foreign ministers meeting in London condemn the Yugoslav authorities for their "disproportionate" use of force and agree to take steps resulting in a ban of flights by Yugoslav airliners to their countries.
15 June:The European Council, meeting in Cardiff at the end of the British Presidency of the EU, issues a declaration on Kosovo. NATO Determined Falcon exercise, involving 80 Alliance aircraft out of which four were British, starts over Albanian and Macedonian airspace.
23 June:US envoy Richard Holbrooke arrives in Belgrade for talks with Milosevic; he subsequently travels to Kosovo, where he meets with members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
24 June:North Atlantic Council commissions contingency planning on a precursor stage of air operations including exercises and surveillance.
7 July:Contact Group Foreign Ministers meet in Bonn. The Group notes that the Serb forces used in repressing civilian demonstrations have not withdrawn from the province, and called upon all sides to start a meaningful dialogue.
17-22 July:NATO Partnership for Peace exercise (code name Co-operative Assembly) takes place in Albania.
28 July:The EU troika holds talks in Belgrade.
1 August:Yugoslav forces launch a major offensive in the Drenica area.
7 August:The Contact Group hands over a paper analysing the options for a peaceful settlement to both parties in the conflict.
12 August:NATO Secretary General issues statement confirming that North Atlantic Council had reviewed a full range of ground and air options.
23 August:Yugoslav forces launch major offensives in Suva Reka, Lipljan, Stimlje, Malisevo, Glogovac and Prizren areas. Heavy civilian casualties.
24 August:The UN Security Council issues a presidential statement on the situation in Kosovo.
8 September:The EU ban on flights by Yugoslav airliners comes into force, with the exception of the UK.
9 September:NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana, issues press statement noting that NATO has completed contingency planning for a full range of military measures.
10-18 Sept:NATO Partnership for Peace Exercise in Macedonia (code name Co-operative Best Effort).
11 Sept:Montenegrin government announces that it cannot accept any further refugees from Kosovo; up to 3,000 refugees are diverted to Albania.
16 Sept:Reversing its previous decision, the British Government imposes a flight ban in Yugoslav airliners with immediate effect.
17 Sept:A KLA statement rejects any possibility of a compromise with Belgrade which keeps Kosovo within Yugoslavia.
21 Sept:Prime Minister Tony Blair addresses the UN General Assembly. He condemns Belgrade's behaviour, points out that Britain, as all other countries members of the international community, have a responsibility to prevent, by whatever means may be necessary, the impending "humanitarian disaster".
23 Sept:The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1199, highlighting the impending humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo and demanding a ceasefire. The resolution was drafted by Britain.
24 Sept:NATO Defence Ministers informal meeting in Vilamoura, Portugal focuses on crisis in Kosovo. North Atlantic Council approves issuing of Activation Warning order (ACTWARN) for Limited Air Option and Phased Air Operation (code name Operation ALLIED FORCE).
26 Sept:Reports of executions of civilians in the Drenica area reach the West.
29 Sept:Belgrade announces that its forces had begun to "return to their barracks".
1 October:UK convenes urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss Kosovo at which Council members express outrage at events in Kosovo. NAC agrees to the next stage of force generation (ACTREQ).
2 October:The Contact Group meets at the level of political directors in London, and agrees that Yugoslavia is still in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 1199.
5-6 October:US envoy Richard Holbrooke holds talks in Belgrade and Pristina. The Yugoslav Foreign Minister invites the OSCE to send a mission to Kosovo.
8 October:Meeting of the Contact Group Foreign Ministers at Heathrow Airport. The KLA declares a ceasefire. In fact, its attacks continue unabated. North Atlantic Council approves Operation Plan for Phased Air Operations.
12 October:Following discussions in Belgrade, US envoy Richard Holbrooke reports agreement in principle with Milosevic on verification missions and political process, but there is not yet a signature.
13 October:North Atlantic Council agrees Activation Order (ACTORD) for Phased Air Operation and Limited Air Option, to begin in approximately 96 hours. Holbrooke returns from negotiations with Milosevic in Belgrade to brief North Atlantic Council.
15 October:Contact Group Foreign Ministers meet in Paris to discuss the Holbrooke-Milosevic deal and the details of the Verification Mission. NATO Secretary General, Chairman of NATO Military Committee and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) meet Milosevic in Belgrade. SACEUR and Yugoslav Chief of General Staff General Momcilo Perisic sign an agreement establishing NATO air verification mission over Kosovo (code name OPERATION EAGLE EYE).
16 October:Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman in Office, Polish Foreign Minister Geremek, signs agreement with the Yugoslav authorities establishing the 2,000-strong Kosovo Verification Mission. NATO extends its ACTORD to 27 October; in effect, this is the deadline for Yugoslavia to comply with terms of Holbrooke agreement.
17 October:A US U-2 reconnaissance aircraft makes the first NATO verification flight over Kosovo.
19 October:Foreign Secretary Robin Cook tells Parliament that Britain will initially provide 150 verifiers to Kosovo Verification Mission, rising to 200 or 10% of the mission strength. This is the first firm pledge by any single contributing country.
20 October:SACEUR, General Wesley Clark, meets Milosevic in Belgrade.
24 October:The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1203, highlighting the "impending humanitarian catastrophe" in the province, welcoming Holbrooke's agreement with the Yugoslav authorities and setting up of Kosovo Verification Mission. The Security Council also reiterates its demands contained in Resolution 1199. Britain drafted the Resolution but Russia and China abstain.
25 October:OSCE Permanent Council formally sets up Kosovo Verification Mission. SACEUR and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee meet Milosevic to deliver message demanding compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1199. Yugoslav and Serbian announce a reduction in their force levels to those before February 1998, when hostilities started in Kosovo; this is supposed to be completed by 27 October 1998, NATO's deadline.
27 October:Up to 4,000 Serb and Yugoslav special police depart from Pristina; it subsequently becomes known that many of them surreptitiously re-entered the province immediately thereafter. The North Atlantic Council agrees to keep compliance of the parties under continuous review, by rolling over the Activation Order for air strikes.
13 Nov:Yugoslavia officially protests to Macedonia about the latter's cooperation with NATO in the stationing of an extraction force, designed to offer protection to the Kosovo Verification Mission.
24 Nov:President Milosevic sacks General Momcilo Perisic, the Yugoslav Chief of General Staff, in retrospect a key move in the Yugoslav leader's determination to defy NATO over arrangements in Kosovo.
4 December:The North Atlantic Council approves the Activation Order for the Extraction Force based in Macedonia (code name Operation JOINT GUARANTOR).
7 December:First UK personnel deploy to Macedonia to join the Extraction Force. UK contribution eventually totals some 380 personnel made up of an Infantry Company Group with Warrior armoured infantry fighting vehicles plus support.
10 December:    The UK becomes part of the Kosovo Verification Mission with the establishment of the first OSCE regional centre in Prizren. The formal inauguration of the Kosovo Extraction Force in held in Kumanovo, Macedonia.
16 December:Richard Holbrooke meets Milosevic in Belgrade.
17 December:NATO Defence Ministers agree that NATO will maintain pressure to ensure compliance.
9 January:The EU Presidency condemns KLA acts of terrorism.
15-16 Jan:Massacre at Racak: 45 Kosovo Albanians killed. The Kosovo Extraction Force becomes fully operational.
16 January:Ambassador Walker, Head of the Kosovo Verification Mission, condemns the Racak massacre.
17 January:North Atlantic Council issues statement condemning Racak massacre, calling for those responsible to be brought to justice, for Milosevic to comply with his commitments and reaffirms that the Activation Orders for air operations remain in effect. The European Union demands an independent investigation.
18 January:Yugoslavia refuses to allow Judge Arbour, Head of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), to investigate the Racak massacre and orders Ambassador Walker to leave the country. The UN Security Council condemns the Racak massacre and calls for an immediate investigation.
19 January:SACEUR and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee visit Belgrade to press Milosevic on Yugoslav Army compliance. The talks last for over seven hours.
20 January:NATO decides to increase readiness of assigned forces for a possible air operations. Defence Secretary George Robertson announces the deployment of four additional Harrier GR7s and a tanker aircraft to Italy. Total British commitment now stands at 8 Harrier GR7s and 2 tankers.
21 January:The decision to expel Ambassador Walker is rescinded.
22 January:The Contact Group meets in London at political directors level. It renews demands for an enquiry into the Racak massacre and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal.
28 January:NATO issues "solemn warning" to Milosevic and the Kosovo Albanian leadership, noting that NATO is increasing its military preparedness and "stands ready to act". Demands immediate compliance with the October agreement, and an immediate KLA cease-fire.
29 January:The Contact Group foreign ministers meet in London. It summons the two parties to proximity talks in Rambouillet, Paris. The Contact Group also reaffirms that the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions apply equally to both parties.
30 January:The North Atlantic Council issues statement reaffirming NATO demands. The North Atlantic Council also agrees that the NATO Secretary General may authorise air strikes against targets on Yugoslav territory. The Contact Group sets a deadline of 20 February 1999 for a political settlement in Kosovo. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook delivers this deadline to the Yugoslav party in Belgrade and the Albanian side in Skopje, the Macedonian capital.
1 February:NATO Secretary General confirms that if no agreement is reached by the deadline set by Contact Group, NATO is ready to take whatever measures are necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.
4 February:The Serb parliament votes on the country's representation to Rambouillet; the Albanians nominate their representation. Defence Secretary George Robertson puts a number of units on standby for possible deployment to Kosovo (4 Armoured Brigade Headquarters, the Lead Armoured Battle Group, artillery, engineering and logistics support, a total of around 8,000 personnel).
6 February:Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and French counterpart, Hubert Vedrine, open the peace talks at Rambouillet in France.
13 February:US President Bill Clinton announces his readiness to commit 4,000 as part of a Kosovo peacekeeping force.
14 February:Contact Group Foreign Ministers meet in Paris and decide to extend the Rambouillet talks until 20 February.
19 February:Foreign Secretary arrives in Rambouillet to press parties to conclude agreement.
20 February:Contact Group Foreign Ministers meet at Rambouillet and decide to extend the Rambouillet talks until 23 February.
22 February:Defence Secretary George Robertson confirms the deployment of some 2,225 personnel of 4 Armoured Brigade HQ and the Lead Armoured Battle Group to Greece and Macedonia, plus advance party for HQ ARRC.
23 February:Suspension of the Rambouillet talks, with neither side signing the Rambouillet Accords, but consensus being reached on substantial autonomy for Kosovo and both sides committing themselves to attend a follow-up conference covering all aspects of implementation. Further talks are scheduled to take place on 15 March.
5 March:UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates there are 210,000 displaced people in Kosovo.
6 March:Kosovo's "parliament" gives its support to the Rambouillet accords.
10 March:Richard Holbrooke holds talks with Milosevic in Belgrade.
11 March:Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov arrives in Belgrade.
15 March:Talks resume at Kleber Centre in Paris. Kosovo Albanian delegation say they accept the agreement in its entirety. The Yugoslav and Serb delegation refuses to negotiate. Defence Secretary George Robertson announces the diversion of HMS SPLENDID (first Royal Navy submarine with Tomahawk Land Attack Missile capability) to the Adriatic.
18 March:Kosovo Albanians sign the Rambouillet accords. Yugoslav military presence in Kosovo and around the province rises; NATO estimates suggest that up to a third of the country's military assets are located there.
19 March:UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports up to 250,000 Displaced People in Kosovo and a further 180,000 in need of assistance. NATO claims that a major Yugoslav Army and Serbian Police campaign is underway. The Paris peace talks are adjourned. OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, announces immediate withdrawal of Kosovo Verification Mission.
20 March:Kosovo Verification Mission verifiers complete their withdrawal. British and other Western embassies begin their evacuation of all families and non-essential staff.
21 March:The NAC gives Secretary General Javier Solana the right to authorise Phase I and II of potential attacks against Yugoslavia. Major Yugoslav offensives continue.
22 March:Foreign Secretary Robin Cook meets US envoy Richard Holbrooke and others in Brussels before Holbrooke flies to Belgrade for last ditch attempt to secure agreement and avoid bombing. NATO Secretary General consults Allies on moving to air operations North Atlantic Council authorises him to decide, subject to further consultations, on a broader range of air operations if necessary. Defence Ministers of France, Italy and UK issue joint statement reaffirming readiness to take whatever measures are necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.
23 March:NATO Secretary General orders operations to begin. The British Embassy in Belgrade is closed. Yugoslavia announces a state of emergency. The Serb parliament votes to reject the presence of NATO troops on the country's territory.
24 March:NATO air strikes begin at 1900 Greenwich Mean Time. First use of Britain's TLAM. Javier Solana writes to the leaders of Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia, giving them assurances that their security was of "direct and material concern" to NATO. The UN Security Council debates Kosovo at the request of Russia. Moscow suspends cooperation with NATO. The Yugoslav federal government declares a "state of war" on its territory.
25 March:Berlin summit of the European Union expresses support for NATO's actions. Yugoslavia breaks off relations with the UK and several other key NATO allies. The RAF attacks ammunition storage buildings at military barracks at Leskovac; General Guthrie, the Chief of Defence Staff, claims that two out of the three targets were destroyed.
26 March:The US produces photographic evidence alleging several mass graves in Kosovo. A draft UN Security Council resolution put forward by Russia and condemning NATO's actions is defeated by 12 votes to three. Two Serb Mig-29 fighter aircraft shot down by NATO aircraft over eastern Bosnia.
27 March:US F-117 stealth aircraft downed over Serbia. Pilot rescued safely. Defence Secretary agrees deployment of land-based Close Air Defence assets to Macedonia.
28 March:NATO Secretary General directs initiation of broader range of air operations against targets in Yugoslavia to allow NATO commanders to intensify their action. Defence Secretary agrees to commitment of extra 4 RAF Harrier GR7s, 8 Tornado GR1s and 1 VC10 tanker. Additional communications personnel is sent to Macedonia. The RAF attacks an ammunition site near Pristina; three targets are claimed as destroyed.
29 March:NATO warns Milosevic that he and his military commanders would be held responsible for war crimes committed in Kosovo. The RAF abandons planned attacks due to poor weather. Milosevic's propaganda claims that 1,000 Yugoslav civilians were killed by NATO's strikes. The Chief of Defence Staff claims that the Pristina headquarters of the Serb special police are "largely destroyed", but that "ethnic cleansing" is now taking place in Kosovo.
30 March:"Most" RAF sorties cancelled due to poor weather.
31 March:Rugova meets Milosevic in Belgrade. NATO claims that he is acting under duress. Yugoslav authorities start the destruction of many of Kosovo's archives and population records. Defence Secretary George Robertson claims to possess "worrying reports" that Milosevic may be planning to destabilise the democratic government of Montenegro.
3 April:First air strike against target in central Belgrade. RAF attacks cancelled due to a "technical difficulty".
4 April:First meeting in Brussels between NATO, EU, OSCE and UNHCR to coordinate responses to the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. RAF Harriers took part in operations over the western part of Kosovo, but did not engage any targets. Tornados from RAF Bruggen (Germany) took part in an attack on bridges and tunnels.
5 April:In the daily press conference, Defence Secretary George Robertson speaks about the "genocidal violence" in Kosovo and about the expulsion of the ethnic Albanian population as "an unforgivable crime against decency and civilisation". RAF attacks a surface-to-air missile support site near Pristina, causing "considerable" damage; two Harrier missions were unable to find any targets during daylight sorties.
6 April:Defence Secretary George Robertson characterises Milosevic's actions in Kosovo as a "brutal and savage pogrom of ethnic cleansing". He also claims to possess evidence of a "mass execution" at Pasktric and the "execution of unarmed civilians at Sopi". Up to 440,000 refugees reported to have left Kosovo since 29 March. Milosevic declares a unilateral ceasefire; this is rejected by NATO Secretary General. Defence Secretary George Robertson announces the deployment of the UK contribution to Headquarters Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land) (HQ AMF(L)), including Commander AFOR Lieutenant-General John Reith, to command NATO forces conducting humanitarian operations in Albania. NATO accidentally hits a residential area in Aleksinac; Defence Secretary George Robertson admits that "there may have been civilian casualties". The Chiefs of Defence Staffs of Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the US meet.
7 April:The RAF hits key targets in Belgrade.
8 April:The Macedonian government agrees to further British deployments, but insists that these could be used only for "peacekeeping purposes". G-8 political directors meet in Dresden, and discuss the political principles of a settlement in Kosovo.
9 April:Defence Secretary agrees to deploy HMS Invincible Task Group to the Ionian Sea. Most of NATO's sorties cancelled because of poor weather.
10 April:Six Harriers attack a military storage area in Kosovo; eight other sorties are abandoned due to a change in target allocation in order to avoid collateral damage.
11 April:RAF fighters avoid attacking a convoy because they could not be sure that it does not include civilians. Other aircraft attack a Yugoslav military column; a night RAF attack against a petrol storage facility in Kosovo and a SAM battery.
12 April:Ministerial North Atlantic Council in Brussels issues declaration reaffirming NATO objectives. The Yugoslav parliament votes to join a proposed federation of Belarus and Russia. NATO bombs or missiles accidentally hit a train.
13 April:North Atlantic Council approves Operational Plan for the NATO force in Albania (AFOR) (code name Operation ALLIED HARBOUR). The Prime Minister announces to the House of Commons the deployment of a second Armoured Battle Group to Macedonia, bringing the total number of UK forces in the region to some 6,300. Defence Secretary agrees deployment of the submarine HMS Turbulent. Six Tornados attack an ammunition depot in the Kragujvac area.
14 April:NATO accidentally hits a refugee convoy near Prizren.
15 April:British aircraft attack command and control facilities near Pristina.
16 April:Foreign Office Minister Tony Lloyd admits that "two days ago a number of Albanian civilians were killed during a NATO attack". Bad weather circumscribes RAF attacks.
18 April:The Minister of State for the Armed Forces claims during the daily press conference that "there are now 1.1 million refugees, half still remaining in Kosovo". The Defence Secretary approves use of RAF C130s for the evacuation of sick or injured refugees to the UK. RAF planes return to bases without engaging any targets.
19 April:Harriers attack airfield near Urosevac; petrol depots in Pristina. Six Tornados do not release their weapons due to poor weather.
20 April:Apart from one attack on a Serbian command post in Kosovo, all other sorties abandoned because of continued poor weather.
21 April:NATO Secretary General announces that NATO is reviewing its planning for ground options. Cruise missiles hit the headquarters of the ruling Socialist Party in Belgrade.
23-25 April:NATO Summit in Washington reaffirms NATO demands. Total numbers of refugees has risen to more than 600,000. NATO aircraft attack the TV centre in Belgrade, and television and power transmitters elsewhere in Yugoslavia.
28 April:Defence Secretary George Robertson expresses regret about "any civilian casualties" which may have resulted from a NATO attack on a Yugoslav training centre at Surdulica. Podgorica airfield in Montenegro is attacked by RAF planes.
29 April:Defence Secretary announces commitment of 9 additional aircraft to the air operation 4 RAF Harrier GR7s, 4 Tornado GR1s and a Tristar tanker. Yugoslav air assets hit in Montenegro.
30 April:Main government buildings in Belgrade hit. Eighteen attack sorties by British Harriers reported.
1 May:US F-16 fighter aircraft downed in north-west Serbia. Pilot recovered safely. NATO planes accidentally hit a bus in northern Kosovo. Many casualties reported.
2 May:Harriers attack near Pristina and an airfield in Serbia, at Obvra.
3 May:G-8 political directors meet in Bonn to discuss the principles of a post-war settlement in Kosovo. The Prime Minister visits Macedonia and Romania. In Macedonia he announces the doubling of humanitarian aid.
7 May:Chinese Embassy in Belgrade hit accidentally by NATO bombs; the Prime Minister expresses his "deep regret". NATO cluster bombs accidentally hit a market in Nis. Seven Harriers attack Sjenica airfield.
10 May:Twenty RAF sorties on ammunition facilities in Serbia and radio relay sites.
11 May:RAF sorties concentrate on destroying Yugoslav infrastructure links between Serbia and Kosovo.
13 May:Defence Secretary authorises two battalions of light role infantry and a mechanised infantry battalion to begin training in preparation for deployment to Kosovo. NATO aircraft accidentally hit the village of Korisa, killing up to 90 Albanians.
14 May:Defence Secretary approves forward basing of Tornado GR1s at Solenzara, Corsica. Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, criticises NATO for killing civilians in the bombing campaign. She does not, however, equate this with Milosevic's "vicious" tactics.
17 May:Tornado missions cancelled because of the weather; Harriers successfully attack a bridge on the road to Durakovac.
19 May:NATO cluster bombs hit a Belgrade hospital. The Swedish and Swiss ambassadors' residences are damaged.
20 May:A Serb prison is accidentally hit.
22 May:NATO hits the army barracks at Kosare, apparently unaware that the area is now a KLA base. Tornado sorties cancelled because of poor weather; eighteen Harrier sorties flown, but only two are successful.
25 May:The number of refugees approaches 900,000.
27 May:Announcement by ICTY of indictment of Milosevic and four other senior Yugoslav/Serbian figures for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war. Defence ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the US meet in Bonn and commit further troops to "KFOR Plus". Intensive RAF sorties against artillery and anti-aircraft targets in Kosovo.
30 May:Accidental hit on train crossing Varvarin bridge.
1 June:KFOR Force Generation Conference takes place.
2 June:Finnish President Ahtisaari and Russian envoy Chernomyrdin have meetings with Milosevic in Belgrade. In a speech to US Air Force Academy, Colorado, President Clinton makes clear that US has not ruled out options beyond bombing to bring about a resolution.
3 June:Twenty Harrier sorties flown against reinforced Yugoslav positions in Kosovo. Milosevic agrees to Contact Group document presented by Ahtisaari and Chernomyrdin. The Foreign Office claims that "Belgrade is at last accepting the inevitable".
4 June:Defence Secretary agrees to reduce the notice to move of 3 infantry battalions and the early deployment of some elements of those units to Macedonia. The Defence Secretary also agrees to the deployment of RAF Helicopters to Macedonia. No British sorties over Yugoslavia.
5 June:Talks on Military Technical Agreement begin on the Kosovo-Macedonia border.
9 June:Signature of Military Technical Agreement by Lieutenant General Sir Mike Jackson (Commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR)), Col Gen Marjanovic (Yugoslav Army Chief of the General Staff) and Lt Gen Stevanovic (Serbian Police), providing for withdrawal of Yugoslav/Serbian forces from Kosovo.
10 June:Yugoslav/Serbian forces begin to withdraw from Kosovo. NATO Secretary General announces bombing campaign has been suspended. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 adopted.
11 June:Russian troops arrive in Pristina and occupy airport.
12 June:KFOR troops enter Kosovo.
20 June:All Yugoslav/Serbian forces clear of Kosovo. NATO formally terminates air operation.
21 June:Military Technical Agreement signed by KLA requiring them to demilitarise within 90 days.

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Prepared 24 October 2000