War In Europe: A Week Of Conflict - Blair gets tough - Serb TV station gets bombed

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The Independent Online

Nato aircraft fly 500 missions in 24 hours, pummelling bridges and oil refineries, and claim to have destroyed Serbia's oil refining capacity. Five ethnic Albanian refugees are killed when their car hits a landmine near the Albanian border. President Clinton and Tony Blair make it clear that only a change of regime in Yugoslavia will allow stability to return to the Balkans. Yugoslavia breaks diplomatic relations with Albania.


Nato offers its explanation for the attack on a refugee convoy the previous week. It admits its strikes could have led to civilian casualties, but insists that pilots believed the road convoy to be military. Mr Blair, and the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, formally bury the Rambouillet peace deal, and call for Kosovo to become an international protectorate. President Boris Yeltsin of Russia says he will never allow Nato to take control of Yugoslavia.


Increasingly hawkish, Tony Blair suggests that no political deal can be struck with President Slobodan Milosevic. "We carry on until he does step down. He has got to yield to Nato demands." The Kosovo Liberation Army tells Nato to provide it with arms or invade Kosovo itself. Britain hands over intelligence on Serb atrocities to the UN war crimes chief prosecutor, Judge Louise Arbour.


President Clinton holds talks with Tony Blair in Washington ahead of Nato's 50th anniversary celebrations. Nato begins to acknowledge that ground troops may be necessary to force a settlement - Mr Blair tells the Commons that no option is ruled out. Air raid destroys the headquarters of Mr Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party.


As Nato leaders gather in Washington, behind the scenes preparations begin for a land invasion which could happen within four to five weeks. Russia's envoy to Belgrade, Viktor Chernomyrdin, says Mr Milosevic is ready to accept an international force in Kosovo, under UN auspices. Reaction amongst alliance leaders is cautious. Nato missiles strike Tito's former home, now one of President Milosevic's official residences, in Belgrade. Washington categorically denies that it was an assassination attempt.


Nato's 50th anniversary gathering begins. President Clinton states: "When we fight, we fight to prevail." The latest peace proposal - put forward by Viktor Chernomyrdin - is rejected, as it does not include the key demands for removal of Serb troops from Kosovo and an armed international presence. Nato strikes the headquarters of Serbia's state television, killing at least 10 people.


Exactly one month into the campaign, Nato launches air strikes against targets in Nis and Novi Sad. Serbian TV is back on air, reporting on the night's attacks.