24 years since NATO’s intervention in Kosovo

24 years ago today, NATO intervened to stop the ongoing genocide committed against the people of Kosovo.

The attacks began at 7:45 p.m., when NATO planes dropped the first bombs against strategic positions of the army of the former Yugoslavia, as the two republics of the former Yugoslav federation, Serbia and Montenegro, were called. The order to start the bombing campaign was given by the president of the United States of America, Bill Clinton.

That night, he gave a historic speech to the American people, announcing that he had ordered the Atlantic Alliance to start a military operation, as the only way to end the fighting in Kosovo.

“We and the NATO Alliance have made all efforts in order to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict in Kosovo. But President Milosevic, who in the recent past caused terrible wars in Croatia and Bosnia, has decided in favor of aggression instead of peace,” said President Clinton.

After 78 days of attacks, the bombings were stopped on June 10, 1999, with the adoption of Resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council. NATO’s intervention in Kosovo enabled the return to the homes of more than 800,000 refugees, and displaced persons inside and outside Kosovo. On June 12, 1999, the deployment of approximately 50,000 soldiers from 36 countries of the world began, of which 30,000 were from NATO countries. Today, 24 years after this intervention, KFOR peacekeeping troops are in smaller numbers. They are stationed in different parts of Kosovo with a peacekeeping mission.