"We opened fire on Albanians to save Serbs"
Many events were covered up, so the so-called Kosovo has been presented as a successful mission in the West, says Norwegian KFOR officer Knut Flovik Thoresen.Source: Kosovo online
"I think most of the Norwegian soldiers, who were in the Balkans and not just Kosovo, came home with a different attitude than what was presented in the media at home. Few want to be embarrassed to talk about it in public", he said, as Kosovo Online broadcasts.
Thoresen served as an officer in the KFOR and Stabilization Force (SFOR) peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and said he was proud to be a Norwegian officer when Norwegian troops prevented Albanians on March 17, 2004, from penetrating through Čaglavica to Gračanica, with the aim of burning the monastery.
When he finished his engagement in the military mission, he returned to his profession - history, studying the crimes of the Independent State of Croatia and the suffering of Serbian prisoners in Nazi camps in Norway. He writes books, holds round table discussions, and he will shoot a movie soon to prove the truth about the suffering of Serbs.
"There were two companies of Norwegian soldiers defending the village of Caglavica of 12.000 Albanian protesters. Norwegian soldiers, unlike some soldiers from other countries, did a good job in two days. I believe that all Norwegian soldiers did a good job, compared to what can be expected from young soldiers. We had over 20 Norwegian soldiers who were wounded in those days. We were also forced to open fire on Albanian protesters where some of them lost their lives. The situation was unfortunately necessary to save and defended the attack. I am sure that if we did not stop them at Caglavica, they would come to Gracanica and destroy the holy monastery there, as they did in many other places in Kosovo", he said.
Asked whether the media image of Kosovo and Metohija differed from that on the ground, Thoresen said that he thought that most Norwegian soldiers, who were in the Balkans and not only in Kosovo, returned home with a different attitude than what was presented in the media at home.
"I have talked to many of my former colleagues and they agree with me. There are few who want to suffer the inconvenience of talking about it in public," he added.
"I was in Kosovo as a Norwegian officer in 2001, 2003 and 2004. While I was in Kosovo, Serbs lived in terrible conditions. Children who went to school had to have military protection. There were constant crimes against Serbs. I would like to single out two cases that left a deep mark - the murder of the elderly couple Stolic in Obilic and the murder of Serb children in Gorazdevac. There were many incidents, all aimed at expelling Serbs from Kosovo. Nevertheless, Kosovo has been presented to some parts of the world as a successful mission," Thoresen concluded.