U.S. warplanes fly first mission from Hungarian...

Balkans Digest

May 29, 1999

U.S. warplanes fly first mission from Hungarian airfields

BUDAPEST -- U.S. F-18 warplanes flew their first Yugoslav combat missions from Hungarian airfields yesterday, the U.S. military said.

"U.S. Marine F/A-18D Hornet aircraft began operations over Yugoslavia in support of NATO's Operation Allied Force today," said the Marine Aircraft Group-31, deployed at Hungary's Taszar air base, in a statement.

The news release did not specify the types of missions flown by the F-18s, which arrived at the air base in southeastern Hungary May 22 and are the first U.S. combat aircraft based in the country, the only NATO state bordering Yugoslavia.

NATO asks Macedonia to double alliance troops

SKOPJE, Macedonia -- NATO has asked Macedonia for permission to double the number of alliance troops in the country to 30,000, the country's foreign minister said yesterday.

Foreign Minister Aleksandar Dimitrov said the request came in a letter from NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana and would be considered Monday. NATO said yesterday that it had 14,351 troops in Macedonia.

Dimitrov suggested approval hinged on financial compensation for the costs of serving as host for additional troops and assurances they would not be used for a ground invasion of Yugoslavia without the agreement of his government.

Pub Date: 5/29/99

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