Skip to comments.Croatian "Operation Storm" marks the 13th Anniversary
Posted on 08/05/2008 6:22:33 PM PDT by Ravnagora
BELGRADE, ZAGREB -- Today marks the 13th anniversary of Operation Storm that led to the exodus of over 200,000 Serbs from Croatia.
Storm began on August 4,1995 with an offensive by the Croatian army and police in the region of Banija, Lika, Kordun, and northern Dalmatia.
A day later, the Croatian Army entered a practically deserted Knin and raised the Croatian flag. The number of victims during the operation has never been established.
According to the Veritas Center for documentation and statistics, 1,900 Serbs either died or disappeared during Storm, while the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights claims that around 700 civilians perished during the operation.
The 13th anniversary of the action was marked in Banja Luka by the lighting of candles in front of the Christ the Redeemer Church in a ceremony that will last two days.
In Croatia meanwhile, the fall of Knin is celebrated as a national holiday, a day of victory and national thanksgiving, where the last sections of territory held by Serb military units were brought back under Croatian control. Since 2000, the day has been feted as Croatian Armed Forces Day.
Top ranking state officials will gather today at the Knin fortress to kiss the flag, sing the national anthem, and speak of those days of pride and glory, reports B92s correspondent from Zagreb.
As with the other former Yugoslav republics, Croatia will not celebrate its victory by commemorating the other sides civilian victims.
The number of civilian victims on both the Croat and Serb sides has never been officially recorded, allowing politicians to manipulate the figures.
The then Croatian authorities aim in 1995 was to drive the Serbs out of the region, which is currently being discussed at the Hague trial of Croatian Generals Gotovina, Markač and Čermak.
Numerous methods were applied for driving out so-called undesirable minorities, from disinforming the Krajina population, countless murders of civilians that had stayed in their homes, and even possibly, an agreement between Zagreb and Belgrade.
On its website, Amnesty International (AI) raises the possibility that the exodus of Serbs from Krajina was part of an agreement between then Yugoslav and Croatian Presidents Slobodan Miloević and Franjo Tuđman. According to AI, the Serb population vanished from territory it had lived on for centuries in the space of just four days, an undertaking that would probably have been impossible without collusion between Belgrade and Zagreb that the crimes committed during Storm were only meant to cement.
The changes in the regions ethnic profile were supposed to be further facilitated through the settlement of 10,000 chiefly Bosnian Croats in abandoned Serbian flats and houses.
After the operation, violence was carried out on returnees on a regular, even systematic, basis, with a view to putting off other potential returnees to the region.
Evidence of this is that, according to figures from the Croatian Helsinki Committee, 24 Serb returnees were killed between 1996 and 1999.
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George C. Scott and Bela Lugosi? WAIT A MINUTE!
Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me... :)
Just exactly which “events” did you take part in? Or are you not able to say...
I worked as a liason...that’s all I’m gonna say for now :) I was in what was called Sector South at the time, around Benkovac.
Now that you have the advantage of “hindsight”, if you had to do it over again, would you still participate?
“Sector South” would make a great title for a scary movie.
Of course! I just wish I could have taken part in the actual action to liberate the homeland. I was too young in ‘91 and by the time I got back in ‘94 they didn’t need volunteers and had more than enough experience fighting while I had none. I’m just glad I was able to participate and help out.
Should I post pictures of the Croatian missing thanks to Serb actions? Or are Serbian victims somehow worth more than Croatian ones?
I have to commend you on your patriotism. And I really mean that without any irony. You have guts for leaving the United States to go back to a war zone thousands of miles away to fight for another country (in this case, your country.)
Having said that, I’m curious about something - I know that there were Serbs who were U.S. citizens who went back to fight for their homeland, too. If the U.S. had gone to war against Croatia, like it went to de facto war against the Serbs, whose side would you have taken?
I wonder about that, in general, from time to time - how does one go about making that choice when one feels loyalty to two different countries...
I’m a patriot for the Serbs, but I certainly don’t have those kind of guts. I fight for the cause from afar...
The Croatian and Bosnian Muslim victims have received a tremendous amount of sympathy and attention over the years. The Serbian victims have been either nullified or ignored. I think they are owed big time.
And, just so you know, that’s the first time I’ve been able to post a photo to FR ! So I’m kind of pleased about that :)
The Serbs have their Serbia; the Croats wanted their own Serbia.
However, while the Croatian military committed violations of humanitarian law during the course of the offensive such as the bombardment of a column of retreating Serbian civilians and soldiers which caused deaths among the civilians, the vast majority of the abuses committed by Croatian forces occurred after the area had been captured. These abuses by Croatian government forces, which continued on a large scale even months after the area had been secured by Croatian authorities, included summary executions of elderly and infirm Serbs who remained behind and the wholesale burning and destruction of Serbian villages and property. In the months following the August offensive, at least 150 Serb civilians were summarily executed and another 110 persons forcibly disappeared.HRW
That must have taken a lot of liasoning!
I'll never forget the looks on their faces.
Why would Croatia want to do this?...That would be tantamount to accepting responsibility for their own actions.
A sorry and heinous chapoter in history.
Prayers for the Christian men women and children who were butchered in the name of perverted jingoism.
Are the Serbs in Banja Luka commemorating the murder of the Banja Luka Croatians killed by the Serbs after Oluja?
Welcome to the Balkans, where everyone is in the wrong and no one will ever admit it.
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