NATO Justifies Bombing Civilian Centers of Serbia 20 Years On

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BRUSSELS – The North Atlantic Alliance is still of the opinion that the bombing of Serbia’s civilian areas for nearly three months in the spring and summer of 1999 was “necessary and legitimate”, despite the absence of approval from the UN Security Council. This was stated this morning on March 24 at NATO Headquarters.

“The purpose of the operation was to put an end to all hostilities and repression against the civilian population of Kosovo, as well as to ensure the return of refugees and access to humanitarian organizations,” the NATO spokesperson read aloud. 

NATO added that the decision to start the operation was made “after more than a year of fighting in Kosovo and several unsuccessful attempts <…> to find a peaceful diplomatic solution to this crisis.”

The previous day the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also justified the NATO bombing , calling them “responsible” and the only correct answer to “massive human rights violations, including massacres.”

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But international law experts remind that absent a UNSC resolution endorsing such action, it was NATO that engaged in massive human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the bombing a shameful mark on the Alliance’s reputation, which provoked anti-Serb ethnic cleansing and forced emigration of about 200,000 non-Albanian residents.

Four years before this was the NATO backed Croatian military-police operation “Storm.” The operation resulted in more than 200,000 Krajina (ethnic) Serbs expelled from their homes in Croatia between August 4th through 7th, 1995.

March 22nd was exactly 20 years after NATO attacks on Belgrade began. Aviation of the North Atlantic alliance dropped bombs and sent cruise missiles to residential areas of the city. The bombing continued from the end of March to June 10, 1999 and resulted in numerous casualties. The result was the “bulldozer revolution” in Belgrade, where American intelligence operatives gained control over the Mayor of Belgrade who endorsed the mass protests, in what has been known as a Color Revolution.  Consequently, in the fall of 2000, President Slobodan Milosevic was essentially overthrown. 

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