Image: MOD Crown Copyright
UK forces will deploy to Kosovo following increasing tensions in the northern part of the country.
UK forces will deploy to NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo following a request from NATO. This follows on from the violent attack on Kosovo Police in northern Kosovo on 24th September and increasing tensions in the region.
Following a request from Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and approval by the North Atlantic Council, the UK will deploy around 200 soldiers from 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in the coming days to join the 400-strong British contingent already in country as part of an annual exercise. The British Army unit has been assigned to the NATO Commander of the Kosovo Force following a specific request from the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, “SACEUR”, US General Chris Cavoli. This deployment is testament to the leadership and agility of UK defence, this deployment will provide strength and expertise to NATO, as part of our pivotal and unwavering commitment to the alliance.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, said:
The deployment of the 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment demonstrates the responsiveness of the UK’s Armed Forces. We continue to be a fundamental part of the NATO alliance, sharing our military expertise and strength.
The extension of our support to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) underlines our unwavering commitment to NATO and the security of the Western Balkans region.
Under NATO command, and working alongside other Allied nation forces, the UK forces will be available to conduct operations in accordance with KFOR’s mandate to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people of Kosovo .
NATO has been leading a peace-support operation in Kosovo – the Kosovo Force (KFOR) – since June 1999. Troops from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) are provided by 28 countries. The UK contributes two intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) units, staff officers to the mission Headquarters alongside the SRF commitment, held at 14 days’ readiness. The UK commitment to KFOR was extended in May 2023 when the Minister for Armed Forces James Heappey announced the UK would continue to contribute to the NATO mission until at least 2026.
UK forces have been undertaking a key role in peacekeeping and bolstering security in the region for more than two decades, and alongside its Allies continue to show collective strength in dealing with the complex issues the world faces today.
- NATO has been leading a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo – the Kosovo Force (KFOR) – since June 1999. KFOR was established when NATO’s 78-day air campaign against Milosevic’s regime, aimed at putting an end to violence in Kosovo, was over.
- KFOR’s original objectives were to deter renewed hostilities, establish a secure environment and ensure public safety and order, demilitarize the Kosovo Liberation Army, support the international humanitarian effort and coordinate with the international civil presence.
- Today, KFOR continues to contribute towards maintaining a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and freedom of movement for all: NATO – Topic: NATO’s role in Kosovo