South Ossetia May Order Full Mobilization, Recruit Volunteers in North Caucasus

The South Ossetian authorities are prepared to order general mobilization and announce the recruitment of volunteers throughout the entire North Caucasus to oppose Georgia's attacks, South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity said.

"If Georgia continues provocative actions, we will announce the recruitment of volunteers not only in the North Ossetia but in the entire North Caucasus and also carry out general mobilization in South Ossetia," Kokoity told Interfax on Saturday.

Kokoity said he had discussed the Georgian attacks with North Ossetian President Teimuraz Mamsurov.

Response fire opened by South Ossetian forces inflicted significant damage on Georgian troops, Kokoity said. "There are losses among Georgian personnel and hardware," he said.

"A lot of strongholds on the Sarabuka Hill were hit, and in the morning we heard Georgian soldiers moaning and weeping, as no aid was provided to them - in fact, they were abandoned," Kokoity said.

Georgia is currently concealing the true losses it incurred from South Ossetia's retaliatory actions, he said.

South Ossetian forces have destroyed at least one armored personnel carrier, he said.

"A house belonging to a sniper, who earlier shot South Ossetian residents, has also been destroyed," Kokoity said. Residents of the Georgian village "outraged by this man's activities" showed South Ossetian forces the house's location, he said.

Kokoity admitted that Tskhinvali had sustained significant damage because of the attacks.

"About 30 craters from large-caliber mines were recorded in the southern part of Tskhinvali alone in the morning," Kokoity said.

South Ossetia has not known damages comparable to those caused by the Friday firing since 2004, he said.

[Source: Interfax, Moscow, 02Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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