Wednesday, April 21, 1999 Published at 03:52 GMT 04:52 UK
'Evil' Milosevic must be defeated
Lady Thatcher: Prepare for the long haul and ground troops
Former UK Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has given her full backing to Nato's operations against Serbia.
Speaking at a gathering to mark the 20th anniversary of her entry into Downing Street, Lady Thatcher said: "We are not dealing with some minor thug, but with a truly monstrous evil."
She said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic "cannot with safety be merely checked or contained" but "must be totally defeated".
She added: "We must be prepared to cope with all the changing demands of war - including, if that is what is required, the deployment of ground troops. And we must expect a long haul until the job is done."
"Her speech underlines just why Nato are taking this action against the Milosevic regime."
Speaking during a visit to Belgium for a series of meetings with military and political leaders, he emphasised the moral case for military action.
"I assure you of our determination to see this through to the end," he told a news conference at Nato headquarters in Mons.
"I think there is a proper sense of moral outrage about what Milosevic has done that we should not shy away from and should feel proud to be feeling."
Mr Blair also insisted that the success of Nato's action was "the only chance" that the refugees had of returning home.
Air raid destruction
The prime minister said at least 13 different military targets had been hit by Nato raids on Monday night.
The vehicles destroyed included five tanks, four armoured personnel carriers and about 20 other military vehicles, he said.
A troop assembly area, a surface-to-surface missile system, ammunition depots, army headquarters, airfields, oil depots and refineries and "other parts of the Serb military machine" were also attacked.
Mr Blair detailed the losses to the Serbian air force and fuel depots and supply routes.
In a message beamed to officers across Europe, he said: "You are fighting a just war in a just cause."
The prime minister is due to fly to Washington later in the week for White House talks on the crisis in the Balkans.
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