USIS Washington 

05 March 1998


(Approaching breaking point in Kosovo, NATO commander says) (320)

By Rick Marshall

USIA Staff Writer

Washington -- "We're rapidly approaching the breaking point in
Kosovo," General Wesley Clark, commander in chief of the U.S. European
Command, warned the House National Security Committee March 5 during a
hearing largely devoted to manpower and procurement issues.

The moderates are on the verge of losing control of the situation in
Kosovo, Clark said. "We're coming to a very decisive point."

"It is very important that the repression stop now," he continued,
referring to Serbia's heavy-handed treatment of the ethnic Albanians
who make up the vast majority of Kosovo's inhabitants.

General Clark also warned of the danger which could ensue if the
mandate for the United Nations peacekeeping forces currently stationed
in Macedonia is not renewed in August.

Russia has said it would veto the extension, he said, something the
United States should work with the international community to prevent.

General Anthony Zinni, the commander in chief of U.S. Central Command,
told the committee that he was sure that Saddam Hussein would break
the agreement U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan brokered in Baghdad
late last month as well as try to divide the allied coalition arrayed
against him.

Zinni also warned of the threat that the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction and increasingly sophisticated weaponry pose to the
Gulf region.

Asked specifically whether there had been any communication between
Iraq and other states about such weapons, Zinni said: "We suspect
there has been some, particularly in the case of Sudan."

At the same time, he said he was unable to confirm that specific
weapons of mass destruction had been transferred to Sudan.

Asked similar questions about Libya, General Clark said that Libya
does possess chemical weapons and that he suspected that there has
been "collusion between a number of countries in the region" on such