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Sgt Blanthorn

OPERATIONAL CONTEXT

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The financial crisis hit the Greek economy hard. Greek GDP per capita is currently at the same level it was in 2003. It has fallen by almost a half since its peak in 2008.

It is in this context that, this year, an agreement was finally reached between the Greek Prime Minister and his Macedonian counterpart over the country name for the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia: it is now scheduled to be known as the Republic of North Macedonia. This is a historic moment, paving the way for FYROM to enter the EU and joining NATO. The agreement has been ratified by both governments, but there is still strong opposition in both countries over the issue: many Macedonians do not believe it goes far enough, and some Greeks consider it to be a national humilation.

It is probable that countries with anti-NATO sentiment would work to covertly support that opposition through financing, protests and organised armed dissent, a pattern which has been seen in other Balkan states.

 

24 hours ago, the Greek government formally informed its NATO allies that it had lost control of the small island of AGIOS EFSTRATIOS. It is believed that elements of the HELLENIC ARMED FORCES are attempting to launch a coup d'état from the island, but information is limited. From the suddenness, foreign involvement is suspected.

In this light, the 16AA has been mobilised to re-establish contact with any remaining friendly HELLENIC forces, KILL OR CAPTURE any coup plotters, find any evidence of foreign involvement, and re-establish control over the island.

 

Formal orders will follow shortly. Stand to!

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After our first operation on AGIOS EFSTRATIOS, J2 has continued to gather intelligence. The location and allegiance of the HELLENIC ARMED FORCES and civilians based on the island and the origin of the forces that we came into contact with is not yet clear.

From the casualties that we sustained, it is believed that the forces on this island have received a level of military training. The ROE has been adjusted accordingly. J2's investigations will continue alongside our operations.

Developments on Altis consist of a buffer zone of approximately 500 metres between Altis goverment checkpoints and the checkpoints of the forces occupying the south of the island. No recorded shots have been fired across the buffer zone.

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO members signed an accord with Macedonia on Wednesday allowing the tiny ex-Yugoslav republic to become the 30th member of the U.S.-led alliance after a deal with Greece ended a 27-year-old dispute over its name.

At a formal signing of the NATO accession protocol, which must now be ratified by allied governments, Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov hailed the moment as showing that the country “will never walk alone” once in the alliance.

“We stand beside these 29 allies... able and ready to assume the obligations arising from our full membership in NATO,” Dimitrov told a news conference after NATO ambassadors signed the protocol.

The ratification process typically takes about a year, and the United States has said it expects Macedonia - now known officially as North Macedonia under the terms of its name deal with Greece - to formally join the alliance in 2020.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the admittance of a new member highlighted that all European nations who met the entrance criteria could join the regional alliance, a position Moscow rejects.

“It shows that NATO’s door remains open for countries that meet NATO standards and that adhere to the NATO values of democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty,” Stoltenberg said.

Russia says that by taking in Balkan members, the alliance is undermining security in the region.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nato-macedonia/macedonia-signs-accord-to-join-nato-despite-russian-misgivings-idUSKCN1PV1KB

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As we have seen in the first operations, the enemy have been using standard Eastern Bloc weaponry and uniforms, with a possible connection to Russia.

The quality of weaponry seen in use by the enemy shows that they have the funding and logistics of a small regular military: we have seen standard Eastern Bloc assault weapons in the form of AK-type weapons, PKMs and related weapon systems, and heavy weaponry in the form of a technical equipped with an HMG. We have also discovered a high level radar system accompanied by an anti-air system. The radar and anti-air emplacements were previously installed and operated by the HELLENIC ARMED FORCES.

The uniforms in use by the enemy is also of note. It was previously determined that these were of Eastern Bloc origin with possible connections to Russia. However, no Russian units have been seen or recorded as using these types of uniforms or camo structures in the past 3 decades.

The town of Girni was unfortunately the site of a mass grave. There are a number of possibilities behind this mass grave. However, we do not wish to speculate on events and will continue investigations. We currently do not have any communications with Air Station Mike-26, Camp Rogain or Airbase Stratis. All are being considered hostile. We have also had no contact or communication with any of the HELLENIC ARMED FORCES that were based on the island. Their allegiance and state is still unknown.

Due to the lack of advanced body armour, mechanised or air support, the enemy is not believed to be from a conventional army. Our current assessment is that they may be a private military company, or some loose coalition of mercenaries. A major objective is to determine their ultimate employer.

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