The Serbian army seen in a Kosovo village on Friday was patrolling the border in a joint “synchronized” operation with NATO’s peacekeeping mission Kosovo Force (KFOR), the latter stated on Saturday.
CCTV footage from the area showed what appeared to be 11 soldiers walking the streets of Karaceva village in Kosovo. Inhabitants and the mayor of the area said they were Serbian soldiers. Kosovo police checked the area, and said they did not come across any Serbian soldiers.
On Saturday, KFOR issued a press statement confirming that they conducted a joint synchronized border patrol with Serbian army on August 7.
They stated that since 2018 these routine joint patrols aim at providing security and ensure that there are no accidents along the 350-km-long border line.
Due to the border line between Kosovo and Serbia being not clearly marked on the ground, patrolling soldiers sometimes find the easiest paths and streets to walk during their operations, KFOR added.
The NATO mission assured that Serbian soldiers never patrol on their own, but always in joint operations with KFOR soldiers.
The Kosovo government did not explain the situation before KFOR issued the statement, apart from the police denying the presence of Serbian soldiers in Kosovo territory after the incident. It’s not clear whether the government has been aware of such operations during the last three years, and in this particular case.