14:56 GMT25 October 2020
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    20th Anniversary of NATO's Bombing of Yugoslavia (16)

    Serbian authorities insist that about 2,500 people were killed and 12,500 more injured in NATO’s air strikes on then-Yugoslavia in 1999, which were conducted despite not being authorised by the UN.

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has described the 1999 NATO bombing of then-Yugoslavia as the “right” move.

    “I still believe that Germany’s participation [in NATO’s military operation] was caused by a responsible approach [to the situation]”, Maas told the German newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

    READ MORE: NATO Bombings of Yugoslavia Aggression Against Sovereign State — Lavrov

    At the same time, he said that a military intervention always remains a “last resort” when it comes to defusing tensions.

    “At the time, we witnessed massive violations of human rights, right up to mass killings. I think the NATO intervention was right. I do not want to know what else would have happened if this [interference] did not take place,” Maas said.

    In 1999, NATO warplanes conducted Operation Allied Force on the territory of then-Yugoslavia under the pretext of stopping the killing of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

    READ MORE: Serbia to Sue NATO Over Damage Caused by 1999 Bombing of Yugoslavia

    The operation came after an armed conflict broke out between Kosovo Albanian independence supporters and Yugoslavia in 1998, as militias were seeking independence for Kosovo and Metohija.

    Serbia says that at least 2,500 people were killed and 12,500 wounded as a result of the NATO bombings that were carried out from 24 March to 10 June, 1999 without the UN’s authorisation.

    The 78-day air raid campaign also resulted in massive infrastructural damage and the contamination of part of the region with depleted uranium.

    20th Anniversary of NATO's Bombing of Yugoslavia (16)


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    mass killings, bombing, military operation, tensions, NATO, Heiko Maas, Germany, Yugoslavia, Serbia
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