Saturday, December 26, 1998 Published at 12:46 GMT
Winter hardens resolve in Kosovo
Serb policemen return fire at KLA positions
By Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus
International monitors appear to have salvaged the Kosovo peace agreement after an offensive by Serb forces - at least for now.
Once the Christmas break is over, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will strive to get its full complement of monitors operating on the ground.
But the uncertainties about this force's chances of operating unhindered reflect the wider uncertainties about the Kosovo ceasefire itself.
Would Yugoslav government troops seek to hold-up the Nato force if it is ordered into action?
While it is institutions like the OSCE and Nato that are playing a practical role in the Kosovo crisis, it is US diplomacy that is in the driving seat.
Washington has set itself the difficult task of condemning both sides in Kosovo - the Yugoslav Government and the KLA. But at the same time the US is stepping up its criticism of President Slobodan Milosevic and his regime in Belgrade.
Many in Washington fear that President Clinton may have another Kosovo crisis on his hands when the winter snows thaw - a crisis that may well require the renewed brandishing of Nato warplanes.