Kosovo Defense Minister has raised concerns that the Serbian government may have violated an agreement with the United States regarding the use of American military equipment. The issue arose after about 30 armed ethnic Serbs entered a Kosovan village on September 24, resulting in the death of a Kosovar police officer during a firefight. Subsequently, the group took shelter in a monastery, leading to a police operation in which three of the ethnic Serbs were killed.
Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti has alleged that the ethnic Serb paramilitary force responsible for the incident had received training in Serbia, and he produced video footage suggesting they were using American-made military Humvees, manufactured by AM General.
Kosovar Defense Minister Ejup Maqedonci expressed his concerns about the alleged use of Humvees, emphasizing the need for congressional approval and an end-user certificate for securing military-grade equipment. Such precautions are intended to prevent the misuse of U.S.-produced military equipment in terrorist activities. Maqedonci’s remarks have raised questions about Serbia’s adherence to these agreements.
This violent incident is the latest in a series of conflicts in Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Kosovo now oversees a Serbian minority community of about 50,000, but Serbia, which does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, accuses Kosovo of mistreating Serbian residents. Kosovo, in turn, alleges that Serbia is supporting violent resistance by arming the Serbian community.
Kosovo’s prime minister released drone footage showing a paramilitary exercise carried out at night, purportedly demonstrating ethnic Serbian paramilitary forces training at a Serbian military base called Pasuljanske Livade, just four days before the attack. The video includes scenes of a fighter firing a weapon mounted on what appears to be a military Humvee.
Serbian officials have held a news conference denying the allegations, emphasizing that the attacks did not have the support or planning of the Serbian state, as claimed by Kosovo’s prime minister.
In the past, the U.S. has donated Humvee light armored vehicles to the Serbian Army, and Serbia has also purchased Humvees from AM General. The U.S. State Department is currently looking into the matter, taking all allegations involving U.S.-provided equipment seriously. AM General, the company that provided the Humvees, has stated that it cannot speak to the vehicles’ use by the customer and confirmed that the delivery of vehicles to Serbia followed the proper authorization process via an export license from the U.S. government.
Serbia has firmly denied involvement in the Kosovo raid and refuted the video’s claim that Serbian Humvees were used in paramilitary training. Defense Minister Miloš Vučević stated that thermal vision recordings from an unidentified location with unidentifiable individuals do not substantiate the allegations.
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