Operation EAGLE EYE

International Information

International Operation Name: Operation EAGLE EYE

International Mission Name: Operation EAGLE EYE

Mandating Organization: United Nations

Region Name: Europe

Location: Kosovo

Mission Date: 30 October 1998 - 24 March 1999

Mission Mandate: To verify Yugoslav compliance with Security Council Resolution 1199 and the NATO-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia agreement on the Kosovo Verification Mission.

Mission/Operation Notes: On 23 September 1998, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1199. The Security Council had received counsel from the Prosecutor for the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia that events in Kosovo represented an armed conflict. The Council was also concerned about the “excessive and indiscriminate” use of force by Serbian forces and the Yugoslav Army, creating civilian casualties and a large-scale refugee problem. The Resolution, issued under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, included calling upon all parties in Kosovo to initiate a case-fire, and that steps should be taken to improve the impending humanitarian crisis. For international organizations, it urged effective international monitoring to ensure that the objectives of the Resolution were met.

Ongoing at the same time were talks between NATO and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia officials. On 15 October an agreement was reached in Belgrade that created the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM). The agreement allowed NATO to conduct unarmed verification flights over Kosovo to ensure compliance with UN Resolution 1199. The flights were also to monitor the activities of security forces, the removal or cantonment of weapons systems, the respect of the cease-fire by all parties and the free movement of all humanitarian supplies, ground monitors and civilians. UN Security Council Resolution 1203 (24 October 1998) approved the agreement.

The North Atlantic Council approved the operations plan for this mission and on 30 October 1998 Operation EAGLE EYE began. Besides verifying that all sides were living up to the UN Resolution and the Belgrade Agreement, Operation Eagle Eye also assessed all data received from air and ground sources and shared it with NATO and OSCE. The OSCE had sent a 1400-person mission into Kosovo to conduct ground verification.

France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States all contributed aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles to Operation Eagle Eye. None of these aircraft were armed.

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (KAYAK)


Date: 15 January 1999 - 24 March 1999

CF Mission/Operation Notes: Canadian participation in Operation Eagle Eye took several forms. In direct support of the operation were two persons in administrative roles and six military police officers for security. They deployed under the name Operation KAYAK, to the Kosovo Verification Coordination Centre. The Centre was tasked with liaising, planning, coordinating and exchanging information with OSCE personnel. The Centre was located in Kumanovo, in the Former Yugloslav Republic of Macedonia and was formally stood up on 26 November 1998. Canadian participation was from 16 January 1999 to 24 March 1999.

In addition, Canadian CF-18 aircraft already deployed to Italy as part of Operation ECHO were sometimes committed to Operation Eagle Eye. Their role was to support combat search and rescue missions if an aircraft from Operation Eagle Eye was brought down or crashed while engaged in the operation.

Four Canadians were also posted to the NATO combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Vincenza, Italy. Part of operation ECHO, they supported the CAOC’s responsibility for controlling unit tasking. The air assets of operation EAGLE EYE.

Unfortunately, the presence of the OSCE observers and the observation flights did not halt the violence in Kosovo. All KVM and Eagle Eye activities ended on 24 March 1999 with the commencement of Operation ALIIED FORCE, the air war for Kosovo.

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