Part 1 - Preshevo Valley: A Strategic Prize
by Tika Jankovic (11-29-2000)
Turbulent southern Preshevo Valley, bordering on Macedonia to the south, the Serbian Province of Kosovo and Metohija to the west, and reaching the border with Bulgaria, on the east is a stretch of land of the utmost geostrategic importance for NATO's expansion to the east. It's a bridge from Serbia to Macedonia, on the Belgrade-Skopje-Thesalonici highway, the land communication artery between Central Europe and the Aegean Sea. And it is a piece of territory which the NATO countries' oil pipeline is planned to transverse, connecting oil terminals on the Black Sea, in Bulgaria, and on the Adriatic Sea, in Albania. In addition, this region has several mineral-rich mines and is a center for textile, tobacco, furniture and other industrial complexes, in addition to having world acclaimed hot and cold water spas and several facilities which bottle the sizzling mineral waters.
The rich soil in the Morava River Valley lends itself to corn, wheat, vegetable and cattle farming, providing a living for about half a million people. By seizing control of this pocket, the US/NATO would:
1. Cut Serbia off from Macedonia and Greece and deprive Serbia of a considerable income and a strategic territory;
2. Gain control of the North-South passageway, stretching from Central Europe to the Aegean Sea;
3. Gain control of the route planned for the future oil pipeline to the Adriatic;
4. Connect occupied Serbian Kosovo and Metohija with occupied Bulgaria on the East and with quisling-controlled Montenegro on the West, thus securing full control of the Balkans' southern flank, between the Adriatic and the Black Sea.
5. Get hold of this rich valley, the better to plunder its natural and industrial resources, another colonial acquisition of Yugoslav land. Another anguish for the people.
KLA Attack Dogs Assault Preshevo Valley
On Nov. 22 I arrived in Bujanovac, a small city in the Preshevo Valley, about 10 miles south from the city of Vranje in Southern Serbia. That day, the KLA bands intensified their attacks on Serbian police forces. [The KLA is the terrorist secessionist group, the Kosovo Liberation Army]
This latest attack had begun the day before I arrived, but one should remember that KLA raids on this valley actually started exactly on the day US troops arrived and took control of the Eastern Sector of Kosovo and Metohija, bordering the Preshevo Valley.
The battle raged about two miles from Bujanovac, in the hills, where Serb police forces, armed only with rifles, repulsed attacks by KLA battalions, heavily armed and supported by mortar and artillery fire.
In the afternoon of the previous day, the KLA raiders were also backed by heavy artillery, apparently coming from US troop positions to the west. Residents could see a canopy of US helicopter gunships hovering in the sky, protecting the KLA raiders from the use of appropriate weapons by the Serbian defenders. NATO Secretary Robertson had warned the Serbs that if they used heavy guns in their defense against these secessionist storm troopers NATO troops would retaliate!. These gunships also provided intelligence to the KLA attackers, guiding them in action.
One American military officer was recently reported killed, "in East Kosovo, in the line of daily duty", or so said the NATO official dispatch. East Kosovo is a euphemism, of course, since the only area in which there is combat is the Preshevo Valley.
The 13 wounded Serb police officers suffered mortar and artillery shell injuries, as did the four who were killed. Three missing Serbian officers were returned in body bags by the US military. Their bodies had been tortured and badly disfigured - the handiwork of the US junior war buddies, the KLA.
The torture of these men was not mentioned in the Yugoslav press, which is now entirely controlled by the DOS government; hints of truth leak out because of feuds between the various DOS factions. I learned of the Serbian officers' tragic fate from medical personnel who had viewed the bodies. The DOS papers also forgot to mention the obvious fact that the U.S. is spearheading the attacks in Preshevo Valley. The KLA, is, as usual, providing window dressing, sadism and cannon fodder for their Pentagon groomers.
These KLA raids on Serbian territory, five miles beyond the militarized zone of three miles along the Kosovo and Metohija border with Serbia proper, and the evident US military involvement in these actions, speak volumes concerning the US/NATO true agenda in the region, as I mentioned above. The current Serb authorities gave the fascist-terrorists 72 hours to retreat; the U.S. objected, and the authorities immediately extended the time period. Why? Why do these terrorists need extra time? Clearly in order for the U.S.-led gangs to fortify the positions they have seized and to bring in reinforcements.
I interviewed several people from the region. The following account comes from a Serbian man, a person of the highest integrity, who witnessed the events described. I spoke with him in Belgrade.