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15 years on: NATO intervention against Serbia


Exactly 15 years ago, on March 24, NATO began its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. The alliance bypassed the UN under a “humanitarian” pretext, launching aggression that claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused a much larger catastrophe than it averted.

Years on, Serbia still bears deep scars of the NATO bombings which, as the alliance put it, were aimed at “preventing instability spreading” in Kosovo. Questions remain on the very legality of the offense, which caused casualties and mass destruction in the Balkan republic.

Code named ‘Operation Allied Force,’ it was the largest attack ever undertaken by the alliance. It was also the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.

Next to military installations, NATO also attacked transportation networks such as railroad tracks and bridges. During the following 79 days and nights, the alliance carried out more than 37,000 operations with 20,000 rockets and bombs striking Serbian territory and killing countless civilians – what NATO referred to as “collateral damage.”

In early June, communications out of Belgrade showed that Milosevic was finally willing to make concessions. NATO brought an end to its raids on June 19. During the air strikes, thousands of people were killed, 860,000 refugees were displaced and Serbia’s economy and infrastructure were largely destroyed. Kosovo was placed under the administration of the United Nations.

Source: dw.de/rt.com


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