Sunday, March 28, 1999 Published at 11:04 GMT
Blair stiffens Nato's punch
Several ethnic Albanian villages have been set on fire by Serb forces
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised to increase Britain's air power contribution to the Nato war effort against Yugoslavia.
And speaking on BBC One's Breakfast With Frost, UK Defence Secretary George Robertson said: "There may well be a case of sending more fighter bombers out there, and I'll be making an announcement in due course about it."
The RAF currently has eight GR7 Harrier jets from RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire stationed at the Gioia del Colle airbase in southern Italy.
'Defending the defenceless'
Mr Blair told the BBC that Nato was forced to act to protect the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo.
He said: "For these poor, defenceless people we are the only chance they have got.
The move to Phase II of Operation Allied Force follows indications on Saturday that strikes on more than 40 targets across Yugoslavia had disabled Yugoslavia's air defence system.
Consulted with Solana
The offer of increased UK air power was made following consultations with Nato Secretary General Xavier Solana.
The two leaders apparently also discussed how to keep tabs on individual Serb commanders in the field so they could be held responsible for war crimes.
He said: "With this aim in mind, the broader range of operations will allow Nato commanders to intensify their action against Yugoslav forces."
As he spoke Nato launched fresh strikes against Serb forces, with reports of an explosion in the centre of Belgrade.