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Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

Why NATO bombed YugoslaviaThe Forgotten War: NATO’s Intervention in Yugoslavia

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, an event that many Western experts labeled as Europe’s first conflict since World War II. However, this narrative was challenged by Aleksandar Vučić, the President of Serbia, who reminded the world of a forgotten conflict that took place on European soil after 1945.

Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

The Conflict in Yugoslavia

In 1999, NATO bombed Yugoslavia, then known as Serbia, marking a significant conflict in Europe post-World War II. Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

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Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a union of 6 different nationalities – Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, and Slovenia, was a single country at the end of World War II.

Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

With the fall of communism in 1991, ethnic tensions within Yugoslavia escalated, leading to the split of the country. Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia declared independence, leaving Serbia and Montenegro as the new Yugoslavia.

Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

The Kosovo Crisis

The mid-1990s saw the rise of a new conflict involving Kosovo, a Serbian province. The province was populated by Albanian Muslims who began demanding independence. Slobodan Milošević, Serbia’s president, refused to grant it, leading to the formation of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1996.

Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

The KLA, accused of multiple war crimes, including kidnappings, riots, arson, murders, and summary executions, initiated a violent struggle. Serbia responded with a brutal crackdown, leading to international condemnation. Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

NATO’s Intervention

Despite the United Nations Security Council’s condemnation of Yugoslavia and the imposition of an arms embargo, NATO decided to intervene. In October 1998, NATO threatened Yugoslavia with airstrikes if the violence did not stop.

Why NATO bombed YugoslaviaWhy NATO bombed Yugoslavia

In 1999, the violence resumed, and NATO launched airstrikes, known as Operation Allied Force, which lasted for 78 days. NATO pilots flew 38,000 sorties, with more than 10,000 being for airstrikes. Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

NATO dropped around 420,000 bombs on Yugoslavia, including 15 tons of depleted Uranium bombs and cluster munitions.

Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

The bombings resulted in the deaths of around 1,000 Yugoslav soldiers and 500 civilians, although Serbia claims the number of fatalities to be around 2,500.

The Aftermath

The bombings ended with NATO troops occupying Kosovo and establishing Kosovan autonomy. Milošević agreed to NATO’s peace terms but was later toppled by his people. He was charged with war crimes and found dead in his prison cell in 2006.

Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

The bombings of Yugoslavia by NATO remain a controversial chapter in history. While NATO justified its actions as a means to prevent genocide, the bombings resulted in numerous civilian casualties and widespread destruction.

The intervention in Yugoslavia serves as a reminder of the complexities of international politics and the often devastating consequences of military interventions.

Why NATO bombed Yugoslavia

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