“U.S. troops won’t leave Kosovo in 2012”

PRIŠTINA -- U.S. KFOR troops Commander Colonel Jeffrey Liethen has stated that the U.S. troops will not withdraw from Kosovo in 2012.

(FoNet, file)
(FoNet, file)

He told Uroševac-based TV Tema that the current U.S. contingent would remain in Kosovo until September 2012 and that a new contingent would replace the current troops and remain in Kosovo until June 2013.

“This is what I know for sure,” Liethen stressed.

He said that it was natural that the U.S. troops would leave Kosovo at some point and that he understood that Kosovo citizens were upset because their hopes were tied to the U.S.

Commenting on the claims that the number of U.S. troops coming from Turkey to Kosovo was increasing, the U.S. commander stressed that this was not true.

“The people who will take over the responsibility from me are from South Carolina and they will be the 16th contingent of the U.S. KFOR in Kosovo,” Liethen said.

There are currently 1,447 U.S. soldiers in Kosovo. They are stationed in Camp Bondsteel and Camp Nothing Hill near Leposavić.

Media have been reporting that the U.S. troops will withdraw from Kosovo and that it is possible that Turkish soldiers would replace them at Camp Bondsteel.