Thursday, June 11, 1998 Published at 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Rebel leader talks to the BBC
BBC Correspondent Ben Brown talks to senior KLA officer, Shaban Shala
Members of the KLA were rarely seen in public until late last year, when three heavily-armed and masked men appeared at a funeral of a Kosovo Albanian shot by Serbian police.
Shaban Shala told the BBC the KLA already controlled 40% of Kosovo and said he was confident they would succeed in their attempt to liberate the province.
"I truly believe the KLA and the Kosovo people will win the war, no matter what the sacrifice."
Another KLA commander has warned that the conflict could spread beyond Kosovo - and warned the KLA might even try to take on targets in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
"First of all we want to liberate Kosovo," he said. "Already the fight is unequal. If it becomes necessary, and if the fighting does not go well ... then we will undertake whatever steps are necessary at that time."
He vowed that he was ready to sacrifice his life for the freedom of Kosovo.
"It is my biggest wish. Freedom is more valuable than life."
Until recently, the main support - both political and financial - for the KLA came from Kosovo Albanian emigres in Western Europe and the US.
However, as the long-standing tensions in Kosovo increasingly erupted into open clashes, the support for the KLA among Kosovo Albanians started to grow. Many of them have become impatient with the failure of the peaceful resistance advocated by their political leadership.
Problems for the political leadership
If the emergence - and apparent military success - of the KLA presented Kosovo Albanians with a stark choice, it could also be said to force the hand of their political leadership.
The political leader of the Kosovo Albanians, Ibrahim Rugova, has condemned the actions of the KLA, but stopped short of denouncing them as a terrorist organisation, as urged by the US.
The main question, though, is whether the actions of the KLA will bring about a change in the position of the ethnic Albanian political leadership in Kosovo.
But with Serbian operations in Kosovo continuing, there is no guarantee that the talks process will last long enough to produce results.
If the Serbian authorities continue to regard Kosovo as an internal - rather than an international - problem, the Kosovo Albanian leadership may have little choice but to abandon its peaceful option.