Pentagon: Difficult to say we've 'prevented one act of brutality'

Josh Mason Jmason at
Tue Mar 30 17:10:59 PST 1999

>From, something for the pro-bombing leftists, who seem to be more Catholic
than the pope when it comes to the efficacy of humanitarian bombing runs.


Pentagon: Difficult to say

we've 'prevented one act of


NATO: 'New heights' of

ethnic cleansing in


March 30, 1999

Web posted at: 5:48 p.m. EST (2248 GMT)

BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) --

NATO said Tuesday that a Serb-led

ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo

has reached "new heights," forcing

118,000 ethnic Albanians to flee their

homes within the past week.

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea,

addressing a news conference at the

alliance's headquarters, said the town

of Pec -- Kosovo's second largest

city, with a former population of

100,000 -- had been "almost totally


NATO's military spokesman, Royal

Air Force Air Commodore David

Wilby, said the ethnic cleansing

campaign had clearly reached "new


He said the reported pattern of

violence was that Serb tanks were

surrounding villages, then

"paramilitaries are going in, rounding

up civilians at gunpoint, separating

young men from women and


"The women and children are then

expelled from their homes and then

sent toward the border. After they

have left the villages, the homes are

looted and then systematically

torched," Shea said.

He added that if those reports were

confirmed, "This is something that we haven't seen since the forced

evacuation of Phnom Penh in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge during the


It will take time for NATO to exert enough pressure to stop the reported

repression, Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said Tuesday.

"I think right now it is -- it is difficult to say that we have prevented one act

of brutality at this stage," said Bacon.


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