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French troops parachute into Kosovo
Reuters AlertNet ^ | 06 Oct 2004 16:47:00 GMT | By Matthew Robinson

Posted on 10/06/2004 10:08:38 AM PDT by 11th_VA

STANOVC, Serbia and Montenegro, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Hundreds of French troops parachuted into Kosovo on Wednesday in the first major operational drop by the French military since intervention in Zaire in 1978.

The mid-morning calm in open meadows north of the U.N.-governed province's capital, Pristina, was shattered by the thunder of seven Transall C-160 planes arriving at the end of a five-hour flight from bases in France.

Arching low over cornfields, they emptied their human cargo, filling the skies with the dirty-white canopies of 361 French paratroopers, each with combat rifle and 50 kg of equipment strapped to his back.

The units included marines, signals, a medical team and an Air Force squadron.

Their 200-metre (600-feet) jump into a drop zone guarded by Moroccan troops marked the start of a 2,000-strong reinforcement of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force ahead of a general election in Kosovo on Oct. 23.

"It was an excellent drop," remarked a breathless Corporal David Suzanne, the sloping fields around him dotted with soldiers lumbering to their collection point.

A KFOR spokesman said it was France's first large airborne operation since 1978, when French paratroopers were deployed in war-torn Zaire in Central Africa.

"For the French army it's a very important operation," said Colonel Yves Kermervant.

German and Italian troops will deploy to Kosovo by land from Albania and Greece over the coming week, as part of KFOR's one-month reinforcement, a precaution triggered by ethnic riots in March in which Albanian mobs attacked minority Serb enclaves.

That spasm of violence, resulting in 19 deaths and 800 homes damaged or destroyed, caught NATO and Kosovo's United Nations administration by surprise. The alliance rushed 2,000 extra troops to the province, but it was after the fact and criticism was stinging.

"We're here so the elections can go ahead in a safe environment," said the paras' commanding officer, Captain Eric Dinechen.

"This demonstrates that Kosovo is still an operational theatre," said another French officer, who asked not to be named.

The deployment will temporarily raise the total strength of the five-year-old peacekeeping mission to 20,000.

Ethnic Albanians make up over 90 percent of Kosovo's two million population and are virtually unanimous in their demand for independence from Serbia.

The issue of the province's final status is expected to come to a head in mid-2005 for the United Nations and the major Western powers which authorised NATO's military intervention in 1999 to stop Serb repression of Albanians.

((Writing by Douglas Hamilton; Editing by Janet Lawrence))


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: balkans; france; frenchtroops; kfor; kosovo; napalminthemorning; nato; parachute; peacekeepers; surrendermonkeys; wot
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A little late aren't they?
1 posted on 10/06/2004 10:08:38 AM PDT by 11th_VA
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To: 11th_VA

There's a new cheese there.


2 posted on 10/06/2004 10:09:59 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough (W+4 = Let Liberty Century Begin)
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To: 11th_VA
A little late aren't they?

They showed up to teach the remaining Serbian residents how to surrender. They're gonna cut up their 'chutes into thousands of white flags.

3 posted on 10/06/2004 10:10:19 AM PDT by dirtboy (Kerry could have left 'Nam within a week if Purple Hearts were awarded for shots to the foot.)
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To: 11th_VA

"Here we come, to save the day..."


4 posted on 10/06/2004 10:10:23 AM PDT by danneskjold (All balloons, what the hell! There's nothing falling! What the f%#@ are you guys doing up there?)
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To: 11th_VA

Why did they jump from perfectly good aircraft?

I know, they were practicing surrendering to gravity.


5 posted on 10/06/2004 10:10:51 AM PDT by MediaMole
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To: 11th_VA

I guess they just seize the opportunity of this deployment in Kosovo to stage a real-life operational drop. There are other French troops in Kosovo, as I recall, but they're mechanized infantry and not Para.


6 posted on 10/06/2004 10:10:56 AM PDT by Atlantic Friend (Cursum Perficio)
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To: LurkedLongEnough

Too little TOO late.


7 posted on 10/06/2004 10:11:50 AM PDT by television is just wrong (Our sympathies are misguided with illegal aliens.)
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To: 11th_VA

Look for them to drop into Iraq in about 2010.


8 posted on 10/06/2004 10:11:52 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: 11th_VA

It must be difficult to control the parachute while simultaneously surrendering.


9 posted on 10/06/2004 10:13:15 AM PDT by Coop (In memory of a true hero - Pat Tillman)
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To: 11th_VA

WTF are they dropping onto a field that is already secured?

Or rather, wouldn't they have been better served landing at the airport and driving to where they are going?

A soldier who's just jumped out of an airplane is pretty much stationary - he's not going anywhere very fast.

To do their job in Kosovo, they're going to need vehicles. And they could just as easily have matched up with the vehicles at the airport instead of having someone drive them out to BFE just so they could get another pip on their jump wings.



10 posted on 10/06/2004 10:13:40 AM PDT by jdege
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To: 11th_VA

ok.... where are all these Iraqi terrorists those Americans have been talking about???


11 posted on 10/06/2004 10:13:45 AM PDT by cjohnson7771 (Day of Accountability)
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To: 11th_VA
"dirty-white canopies of"

How wonderfully appropriate. French Troops arrive with Govt issued Surrender Flags
12 posted on 10/06/2004 10:14:26 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Vote Bush 2004-We cannot survive a 9-10 President in a 9-11 World)
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To: 11th_VA

"WEEEEEEE SURRRRENDERRRRR!"


13 posted on 10/06/2004 10:14:47 AM PDT by The Hollywood Conservative
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To: Atlantic Friend

NOW Kosovo is going to be pacified once and for all. The French paratroopers have arrived! Vive Liberte! Vive Fraternite! Vive Egalite!


14 posted on 10/06/2004 10:15:28 AM PDT by alloysteel
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To: cjohnson7771
ok.... where are all these Iraqi terrorists those Americans have been talking about???

ROFLMAO !!!

15 posted on 10/06/2004 10:16:09 AM PDT by 11th_VA (John Kerry - America's first European ruler since King George)
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To: 11th_VA

The farmers should sue for damage to their crops. Where's John Edwards when you need him?


16 posted on 10/06/2004 10:16:35 AM PDT by Arthalion
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To: alloysteel

Well, I'm all for Freedom, Brotherhood and Equality, personally.


17 posted on 10/06/2004 10:16:36 AM PDT by Atlantic Friend (Cursum Perficio)
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To: 11th_VA

Were the French able to hit the target.
Some may have landed in other countries.


18 posted on 10/06/2004 10:16:41 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rather calls Saddam "Mister President" and calls President Bush "bush")
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To: 11th_VA
A waste of some perfectly good parachutes!

Pray for W and Our Troops

19 posted on 10/06/2004 10:17:19 AM PDT by bray (Swifties Rock!!)
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To: Jane_N; Lion in Winter; Destro; Honorary Serb; RussianConservative; Incorrigible; DTA; ma bell; ...

A Balkans ping.


20 posted on 10/06/2004 10:17:30 AM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: 11th_VA
The French finally figured out that it's the Serbs that really need our help?
21 posted on 10/06/2004 10:18:55 AM PDT by Publius6961 (I, also, don't do diplomacy.)
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To: 11th_VA
ethnic riots in March in which Albanian mobs attacked minority Serb enclaves. That spasm of violence, resulting in 19 deaths and 800 homes damaged or destroyed, caught NATO and Kosovo's United Nations administration by surprise.

Were they caught by surprise that practitioners of the "Religion of Peace" would murder innocent civilians? Yeah, that comes as a real shock, not like that's ever happened before.

22 posted on 10/06/2004 10:19:23 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: 11th_VA

They mus've thought something was wrong with their airplane.


23 posted on 10/06/2004 10:19:23 AM PDT by Spok
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To: dirtboy
They're gonna cut up their 'chutes into thousands of dirty white flags.
24 posted on 10/06/2004 10:19:46 AM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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French troops parachute into Kosovo and SURENDERED!
25 posted on 10/06/2004 10:19:59 AM PDT by b2stealth
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To: 11th_VA; All

Did they surrender yet???


26 posted on 10/06/2004 10:20:08 AM PDT by Heff ("Liberty is not America's gift to the world, it's the Almighty's gift to humanity" GW Bush 4/12/04)
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To: 11th_VA
A little late aren't they?

LOL .. I kept checking for the date thinking .. this has got to be an old article

27 posted on 10/06/2004 10:20:10 AM PDT by Mo1 (The President's job is not to pass a global test, but to protect the American people.)
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To: 11th_VA

Are they there to teach a class on how to surrender or just to serve some whine and cheese?


28 posted on 10/06/2004 10:20:11 AM PDT by MontanaBeth (NEVER FORGET)
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To: 11th_VA

Kosovo is a QUAGMIRE! Didn't we intervene in 1999? It's been six years and they have to send reinforcments to hold *GASP* elections?


29 posted on 10/06/2004 10:22:05 AM PDT by IDRATHERNOT
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To: Mo1
I kept checking for the date thinking .. this has got to be an old article

It's even under Reuters ALERTNET !!!

30 posted on 10/06/2004 10:22:39 AM PDT by 11th_VA (John Kerry - America's first European ruler since King George)
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To: 11th_VA
I hear they're preparing to attack Normandy any day now....
31 posted on 10/06/2004 10:24:29 AM PDT by atomicpossum (If there are two Americas, John Edwards isn't qualified to lead either of them.)
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To: 11th_VA
> French troops parachute into Kosovo

The French have just discovered anti-gravity!

(Their paratroopers, you see, were afraid to hit the ground -- so they just hover there....)

32 posted on 10/06/2004 10:26:18 AM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: 11th_VA

"That spasm of violence, resulting in 19 deaths and 800 homes damaged or destroyed, caught NATO and Kosovo's United Nations administration by surprise. "

France has INVADED a country over 19 deaths *snicker*? Gosh the 100,000's in Iraq posted no French concerns.

....How many soldiers will this war COST France. Oh, woe is us! *sniff* The caskets, oh the caskets.....

/Sarcasm off*

"We're here so the elections can go ahead in a safe environment," said the paras' commanding officer, Captain Eric Dinechen."

Seems I've heard something like that somewhere...oh, yeah. Bush, Iraq.


33 posted on 10/06/2004 10:27:28 AM PDT by Hi Heels (Proud to be a Pajamarazzi. Flush Fluffy and Stuffy.)
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To: All

34 posted on 10/06/2004 10:28:24 AM PDT by 11th_VA (John Kerry - America's first European ruler since King George)
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To: The Hollywood Conservative

They did that as soon as they hit the ground sniveling...


35 posted on 10/06/2004 10:28:44 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: 11th_VA

36 posted on 10/06/2004 10:29:31 AM PDT by Future Useless Eater (FreedomLoving_Engineer)
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To: All

37 posted on 10/06/2004 10:29:39 AM PDT by 11th_VA (John Kerry - America's first European ruler since King George)
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To: 11th_VA

you beat me by 67 seconds


38 posted on 10/06/2004 10:30:58 AM PDT by Future Useless Eater (FreedomLoving_Engineer)
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To: 11th_VA
it was France's first large airborne operation since 1978,
????

I thought a French Airborne Divison was involved in Operation Desert Storm

Pehaps they were just flying around in helicopters in 1991,
-before they switched to Saddam's side in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

39 posted on 10/06/2004 10:35:52 AM PDT by TeleStraightShooter (Kerry plans to graff post-Vietnam policy on Iraq: Cut funding and let the Syrian Baathists take over)
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To: 11th_VA
A little late aren't they?

It also speaks to the numbers they can put in the field.

If some unnamed person should think these guys could contribute any significant numbers to a coalition effort that person would be deluded. Or a liar.

40 posted on 10/06/2004 10:38:43 AM PDT by siunevada
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To: alloysteel

What effect will they have on the drug and other black market operations that are actually harming France? We suspect none.


41 posted on 10/06/2004 10:39:02 AM PDT by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them, or they like us?)
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To: alloysteel

What effect will they have on the drug and other black market operations that are actually harming France? We suspect none.


42 posted on 10/06/2004 10:39:04 AM PDT by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them, or they like us?)
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To: 11th_VA

Do the Froggies get to count this as a combat drop?


43 posted on 10/06/2004 10:40:21 AM PDT by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington
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To: 11th_VA
jumped into a drop zone guarded by Moroccan troops

and there it is... all show and NO go!!!

44 posted on 10/06/2004 10:42:00 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: Chode

The US Army dropped an entire Italy-based brigade into northern Iraq under combat conditions--no ally-protected LZ--and it generated less of a stir at Reuters than did this Froggie practice drop.


46 posted on 10/06/2004 10:45:39 AM PDT by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington
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To: 11th_VA

47 posted on 10/06/2004 10:45:47 AM PDT by flashbunny
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To: 11th_VA

77 days of fate in the History of Mankind
http://www.sramota.com/nato/


48 posted on 10/06/2004 10:48:11 AM PDT by Truth666
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To: 11th_VA

The French are making a preemptive surrender.


49 posted on 10/06/2004 10:55:54 AM PDT by cold_dead_fingers (Skinny chefs and Democrats... you can't trust either.)
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To: Publius6961

"The French finally figured out that it's the Serbs that really need our help?"

What an interesting thought, since this country hasn't figured it out yet.


50 posted on 10/06/2004 10:56:18 AM PDT by AuntB ("Go count your blessings, and then complain to me"...MY Grandma!)
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