Three US Soldiers Missing in Macedonia : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

from Drudge:

Three Soldiers Missing in Macedonia

By Laura Myers Associated Press Writer Wednesday, March 31, 1999; 8:29 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Three U.S. Army soldiers were missing in Macedonia near the Yugoslav border Wednesday night after possibly being captured by members of the Serb military or police while on a reconnaissance mission, the Pentagon and NATO officials said.

An immediate search and rescue mission was launched, involving ground and helicopter teams, U.S. officials said.

The Army team had been on a daytime reconnaissance mission in the Kumanovo area of Macedonia near the southern Yugoslavia border when they reported ``they received small arms fire and said they were surrounded,'' according to NATO.

``No more was heard from the patrol,'' a NATO statement said.

-- a (a@a.a), March 31, 1999


There was just a report on this on NBC, they think the 3 missing soldiers have been captured(speculation).

-- Deborah (, March 31, 1999.

A radio news report I just heard used the word "kidnapped". Excuse me? Isn't this war? Wouldn't it be "taken prisoner" or "killed"? There's so much spin going on I'm gonna need a Dramamine.

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 31, 1999.

Sheesh, forgot a about POW or MIA?

How can you tell if a politician is lying? His/her lips are moving.

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 31, 1999.

Apparently they were on a "Maneuver" with 6 others in (total of 3) Hummers and for some reason they bombshelled. The team in question must have happened on an opposition team. reports indicate the other teams could not find a trace of the missing team and that a rescue mission involvoing 2 blackhawks and about 90 ground personnel is in progress.

the loss occurred at about 1200 EST. If we are to believe the press.

I wonder if they just didn't make it back across the imaginary line in time??? I have a number of friends who worked "near" the Cambodian border.....


Can you say TRIPWIRE??

-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 31, 1999.

Just wait and see. This incident will galvanize public opinion for a ground invasion of Kosovo. Convenient, huh?

-- No No (, March 31, 1999.

Not good. Pictures look bad; their noses look broken. See Drudge for the picture. The following is from the Washington Post:

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

Yugoslavia Captures 3 U.S. Soldiers

Yugoslavia Captures 3 U.S. Soldiers, By George Jahn, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, April 1, 1999; 10:07 a.m. EST

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- NATO missiles destroyed a major bridge over the Danube River in Serbia's second-largest city today, while Yugoslav television aired footage of three captured U.S. soldiers with what appeared to be abrasions on their faces.

The Yugoslav army said the Americans were caught Wednesday in southern Yugoslavia. NATO insisted the soldiers were in Macedonia, about three miles from Yugoslavia's border, when they reported being fired at and surrounded by Yugoslav troops.

``No more was heard from the patrol,'' NATO said in a statement.

The three grim-faced soldiers, dressed in camouflage, appeared on Serb television with what appeared to be cuts on their faces. One seemed to have a cotton patch on the back of his head.

``We've all seen their pictures. We don't like it,'' NATO supreme commander Gen. Wesley Clark said today in Brussels, Belgium. ``We don't like the way they're treated and we have a long memory about these kinds of things.''

The report showing the three soldiers was apparently aired from Kosovo's capital, Pristina, implying the captured men, based in Wuerzburg, Germany, were being held there.

President Clinton today was expected to call for the immediate release of the three and demand that the Red Cross be granted access to the men, identified as Staff Sgt. Andrew A. Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles; Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone, 25, of Smiths Creek, Mich.; and Spec. Steven M. Gonzales, 24, of Huntsville, Texas. Their families have been notified.

The soldiers, part of a NATO peacekeeping force, were patrolling a region with no precise or defined border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia, Macedonian Interior Minister Pavle Trajanov said.

The terrain is rugged, with small valleys, hills and streams. Troops occasionally separate from one another to go around small hills, but most of the Army vehicles have Global Positioning Systems, which can pinpoint their location to a few yards.

Many of those who live in the area are either ethnic Serbs or Macedonian nationalists angry at NATO military strikes on their neighbor and the presence of foreign troops on their soil.

.... [snip]

[ much more to article, long + interesting ]
Wondering how much this will figure in the next moves ....

xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxx

-- Leska (, April 01, 1999.

Very interesting,...on the news just now, press statement from the Pentagon is listing the three soldiers as "abducted", not as prisoners of war. The only reason I can imagine for this is that the spin must stay with NATO action, and reference to POWs would fly in the face of the "NATO action" weasel words. Rules of engagement and all that fabulous game-playing,... (I may vomit from cognitive dissonance)

I am ever-reminded that whenever I "feel crazy" it is only a sign that I live upon Planet Crazy-Making.

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 01, 1999.

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