Turkish commando battalion deployed in Kosovo upon the request by NATO to assist in quelling violent unrest in the Balkan country has started to return to Türkiye as the mission is completed, the Defense Ministry has announced.
“Following the deployment to the Sultan Murat Barracks in Kosovo on June 6, our unit has commendably contributed to the establishment of tranquility in Kosovo between June 10 and Aug. 31, and successfully fulfilled its mission,” the ministry said in a written statement on Sept. 5.
A part of the battalion embarked on its journey back to the homeland by road on Sept. 5, with the remaining returns scheduled for Sept. 6 flights.
“Türkiye continues to contribute to regional and global peace and stability through its roles in U.N., NATO, EU, and OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] missions, as well as within the framework of bilateral relations, while closely monitoring developments in the Balkans, where we share common historical and cultural values,” the statement expressed.
The ministry also reminded that Türkiye will take over the command of NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force on Oct. 10.
Türkiye deployed additional troops to Kosovo in June in response to NATO’s request after tensions.
Tensions gripped Kosovo as local Serbs protested the election of ethnic Albanian mayors in four municipalities in May in northern municipalities.
Violent clashes with ethnic Serbs left many international soldiers wounded, including fractures and burns from improvised explosive incendiary devices.
NATO announced on May 30 that it sent 700 troops to bolster the force in the area. KFOR currently consists of almost 3,800 troops, including some 350 from Türkiye.