Kosovo War

1998-1999 armed conflict in Kosovo / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Kosovo War?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


The Kosovo War was an armed conflict in Kosovo[lower-alpha 4] that started 28 February 1998[48][49] and lasted until 11 June 1999.[50] It was fought by the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (i.e. Serbia and Montenegro), which controlled Kosovo before the war, and the Kosovo Albanian rebel group known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The conflict ended when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervened by beginning air strikes in March 1999 which resulted in Yugoslav forces withdrawing from Kosovo.

Quick facts: Kosovo War, Date, Location, Result, Territori...
Kosovo War
Part of the Yugoslav Wars[1]
Clockwise from top-left: Yugoslav general staff headquarters damaged by NATO air strikes; a Zastava Koral buried under rubble caused by NATO air strikes; memorial to local KLA commanders; a USAF F-15E taking off from Aviano Air Base
Date28 February 1998 – 11 June 1999
(1 year, 3 months and 2 weeks)
Kosovo, FR Yugoslavia with incursions into Albania (OSCE report)[2][3][4][5]

Kumanovo Agreement[6][7][8][9]

No de jure changes to Yugoslav borders according to Resolution 1244, but de facto and partial de jure political and economic independence of Kosovo from FR Yugoslavia due to being placed under UN administration

Flag_of_NATO.svg NATO (from 24 March 1999)
Flag_of_Serbia_and_Montenegro_%281992%E2%80%932006%29.svg FR Yugoslavia
Commanders and leaders

NATO Wesley Clark

Coat_of_arms_of_the_Kosovo_Liberation_Army.svg 17,000–20,000 insurgents[citation needed]

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 85,000 soldiers[20] (including 40,000 in and around Kosovo)[19]
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 20,000 policemen
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 100 SAM sites[19]
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1,400 artillery pieces (both ground & air defence)[19]
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 240 aircraft[19]
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 2,032 armoured vehicles & tanks[19]
  • Civil_flag_of_Serbia.svg Unknown number of Serbian paramilitary units (Šakali, Škorpioni)
  • Flag_of_Russia.svg Unknown number of Russian volunteers[21][22]
Casualties and losses
  • Coat_of_arms_of_the_Kosovo_Liberation_Army.svg 1,500 insurgents killed (KLA figures)[23]
  • Coat_of_arms_of_the_Kosovo_Liberation_Army.svg 2,131 insurgents killed (HLC figures)[24]

  • Caused by NATO:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1,008–1,200 killed[lower-alpha 3]
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 14 tanks,[37] 18 APCs, 20 artillery pieces[38] and 121 aircraft and helicopters destroyed[39]
  • Caused by KLA and NATO:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1,084 killed (HLC figures)[24]

Albania 8,676 Kosovo Albanian civilians killed or missing[40]
Albania 90% of Kosovar Albanians displaced during the war[41] (848,000–863,000 expelled from Kosovo,[42][43] 590,000 Kosovar Albanians displaced within Kosovo)[41]
Flag_of_Serbia_and_Montenegro_%281992%E2%80%932006%29.svg 1,641[24]–2,500[44] Serb and other non-Albanian civilians killed or missing (445 Romani and others)[24]
Flag_of_Serbia_and_Montenegro_%281992%E2%80%932006%29.svg More than 200,000 Kosovo Serbs, Romani, and other non-Albanian civilians displaced[45]
Flag_of_Serbia_and_Montenegro_%281992%E2%80%932006%29.svg/Albania Civilian deaths caused by NATO bombing: 489–528 (per Human Rights Watch)[46] or 454–2,500 (HLC and Tanjug figures);[47][44] also includes China 3 Chinese journalists killed

13,548 civilians and fighters dead overall (Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Romani)[40]

The KLA was formed in the early 1990s to fight against Serbian persecution of Kosovo Albanians, with the goal of uniting Kosovo into a Greater Albania.[51] It initiated its first campaign in 1995 when it launched attacks against Serbian law enforcement in Kosovo. In June 1996, the group claimed responsibility for acts of sabotage targeting Kosovo police stations, during the Kosovo Insurgency.[52][53] In 1997, the organisation acquired a large amount of arms through weapons smuggling from Albania, following a rebellion in which weapons were looted from the country's police and army posts. In early 1998, KLA attacks targeting Yugoslav authorities in Kosovo resulted in an increased presence of Serb paramilitaries and regular forces who subsequently began pursuing a campaign of retribution targeting KLA sympathisers and political opponents;[54] this campaign killed 1,500 to 2,000 civilians and KLA combatants, and had displaced 370,000 Kosovar Albanians by March 1999.[55][56]

On 20 March 1999, Yugoslav forces began a massive campaign of repression and expulsions of Kosovar Albanians following the withdrawal of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) and the failure of the proposed Rambouillet Agreement.[55][57] In response to this, NATO intervened with an aerial bombing campaign that began on March 24, justifying it as a "humanitarian war".[58] The war ended with the Kumanovo Agreement, signed on 9 June, with Yugoslav and Serb forces[59] agreeing to withdraw from Kosovo to make way for an international presence. NATO forces entered Kosovo on June 12.[60][61] The NATO bombing campaign has remained controversial.[62] It did not gain the approval of the UN Security Council and it caused at least 488 Yugoslav civilian deaths,[63] including substantial numbers of Kosovar refugees.[64][65][66]

In 2001 a Supreme Court, based in Kosovo and administered by the United Nations, found that there had been "a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments", but that Yugoslav troops had tried to remove rather than eradicate the Albanian population.[67] After the war, a list was compiled which documented that over 13,500 people were killed or went missing during the two year conflict.[68] The Yugoslav and Serb forces caused the displacement of between 1.2 million[69] to 1.45 million Kosovo Albanians.[70] After the war, around 200,000 Serbs, Romani, and other non-Albanians fled Kosovo and many of the remaining civilians were victims of abuse.[71][72][73]

The Kosovo Liberation Army disbanded soon after the end of the war, with some of its members going on to fight for the UÇPMB in the Preševo Valley[74] and others joining the National Liberation Army (NLA) and Albanian National Army (ANA) during the armed ethnic conflict in Macedonia,[75] while others went on to form the Kosovo Police.[76]