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NATO Aggression on FRY-15 Years Later

On March 24th 1999, NATO began its aggression of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Mission 'Allied Force' gathered the most powerful countries of Western civilization. They manifest all the power and disproportionate force mainly on innocent civilians and nonmilitary targets. Bombing destroyed around 1 026 civilian facilities, industrial sites and energy installations were destroyed: bridges, radio and TV stations, National broadcasting network RTS, 19 hospitals, 20 health care buildings, 18 kinder gardens, 69 primary and secondary schools, 29 monasteries, 35 churches were damaged. Human casualties during aggression on FRY: about 2000 civilians, 599 soldiers, 172 policemen have died… Around 10 000 were wounded. Six civilians, among them three children were killed in village of Murino( Montenegro, then a constitutive part of FRY): Julija Brudar (10), her sister Olivera Maximovic (13), Miroslav Kneyevic (13), Milka Kocanovic (69), Manojlo Komatina (69) and Vukic Vuletic (56). During 78-day air-strikes, NATO used, also forbidden cluster bombs and ordnance containing depleted uranium/DU (U238). Each and every location in Serbia was hit by different weapons. NATO has tried everything that was available on their scale of weapons. According to official information, some 31, 000 warheads were used, with a total coming on for 10 (or 15) tones of DU.

Just following the military data from Doc 492/1 and 492/3 (General Staff FRY, December 21st 1999): DU is poorly water-soluble, and body fluids, while uranium oxide dissolves better, so that in time can contaminate the groundwater, and through plants and, in the form of animal feed, contaminated animals and humans. Effects of this type of ammunition on manpower and population are fatal, because of contamination. Due to contamination besides its radioactive effects, uranium is highly toxic element and a potent carcinogen and mutagen. The radioactivity of the uranium and its products cause various diseases, such as dermatitis, renal injury, acute arterial necrotic lesions, and death. Inhalation of fine particles into the lungs can lead to the occurrence of cancerous diseases of the internal organs. After a long period of 20-25 years, such as malignant effects resulting changes such as usually lung cancer, osteosarcomas, leukosis, tumors of the liver.

Based on the Council of Europe Report (Doc 8925, January 10th, 2001), 'Environmental Impact of the war in Yugoslavia on south-east Europe' NATO had previous knowledge of the DU usage: DU is probably one of the causes of so called 'Gulf-syndrome', which has affected many former servicemen who took part in combat operations in the Persian Gulf in 1991. About 3,000 have died of cancer and many of the survivors have children with birth defects. The same problems are seen in Bosnia, where DU shells were used in 1995 (As many as 400 NATO aircraft participated in the air campaign. Overall, a total of 1,026 bombs were dropped, 708 of the bombs dropped were precision-guided munitions. The total of weight was 10, 000 tones, 152 civilian casualties).Rapid increase of birth defect were spotted among children in the DU targeted area (as well as, leukemia, and other cancer diseases). Environmental pollution resulted from bombing petrochemical and other industry facilities, usage of DU and from massive use of aviation (Between March 24th and June 5th 1999, NATO aircraft flew over 34, 000 missions, totaling some 150,000 hours in the airspace of FRY and neighboring regions (This concentration of warplanes over a relatively small area resulted in high level of contaminants in the ambient air. For example, it should be noted that fuel for F16 and Mirage jet fighters, which were used in NATO air strakes contains highly toxic hydroxides.

78 Industrial sites and 42 energy installations in FRY were damaged by bombing or missile strikes. These air strikes irretrievably polluted air, water and soil (dioxins, toxic sulfur and nitrogen compounds). The air strikes destroyed over 20 chemical and petrochemical installations. 1,400 tonnes of ethylene dichloride, 800 tonnes of 33 % hydrogen chloride solution, as well as enormous amount of mercury, 200 tonnes of ammonia discharges into international river of Danube. Bombing of the Zastava car factory caused discharge of several tones of pyralene into Velika Morava river. Pyralen is a potent carcinogen that may be dangerous even in very low concentrations. The Velika Morava is one of the main tributaries of the Danube/the source of drinking water for more then 10 milion people in several different countries.

As satellite observation confirm, huge amounts of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide released into the atmosphere by NATO air attacks over the Europe. These are just some of the ecological and humanitarian catastrophe details which NATO caused using disproportionate military force, without legal base (Security Council never issued Resolution that will approve military 'intervention'), with additional disregardation of all rules and customs of war defined in UN Charter, Geneva Conventions with all Additional protocols, as well with disregardation of total international law and mechanisms. NATO aggression on FRY manifests the new role of this military alliance: from defensive to offensive. As a trigger for aggression NATO used falsify OSCE report on 'massacre' in village of Racak (Kosovo and Metohija). This was later acknowledged by Helen Ranta chief of forensic team. Years later she publicly confesses that she made false report due to the pressure from William Volker (Chief of OSCE Verification Mission) and some officials from Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs. NATO allies on the 'ground' like infantry were members of terrorist organization (KLA-Kosova Liberation Army). Due to these publicly known facts, we can freely say that NATO did sign war crime against sovereign European country such was Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which sadly become a precedent.

'Humanitarian intervention' which caused human catastrophe with unforeseeable consequences, demolished territorial integrity and sovereignty of FRY, drew new borders on the European soil by excluded around 15 % of Serbian territory (Kosovo I Metohija) today presents demarcation line which threatens the whole international community in a larger scale. The goal of aggression was to achieve the broadest consensus between western partners in coup on international law for the neoliberal interest, only.

Today, we count 15 years since the tragedy which the rest of nations would like to see as precedent, giving the amnesty for the joint criminal enterprise (NATO) which condemns so many innocent civilians on everyday struggle with horrible diseases. All of this and much more worse happened to us before the eyes of the so called 'civilized' nations in the name of the highest values of civilization known to all of us. The very same world that is now facing ghosts of Pandora's Box liberated on Serbian Kosovo and Metohija, in not-so-distant 1999 year…

[Source: By Marina Ragush, Strategic Culture Foundation, Moscow, 24Mar14]

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