Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 28, 1999


The South Grounds

2:15 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. All Americans can be very proud of the skill and bravery of the American servicemen involved in the rescue operation yesterday in Kosovo. Indeed, we can be proud of all of our men and women in uniform who are involved in the NATO mission.

From the outset I have said to the American people that this military operation entails real risks. But the continued brutality and repression of the Serb forces further underscores the need for NATO to persevere. I strongly support Secretary General Solana's decision yesterday to move to a new phase in our planned air campaign, with a broader range of targets including air defenses, military and security targets, and forces in the field.

In the last 24 hours, I have been in close contact with key NATO allies, including Prime Minister Blair, President Chirac, Chancellor Schroeder, and Prime Minister D'Alema. All of them share our determination to respond strongly to Mr. Milosevic's continuing campaign of inhumane and -- violence against the Kosovar Albanian people. That is what we intend to do.

Thank you very much.

Q Has the bombing made things worse, sir?

Q Sir -- is the bombing driving the atrocities now, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely not.

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