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PRESS RELEASE (95)68 11 July 1995

NATO AIRCRAFT PROVIDE CLOSE AIR SUPPORT

IN THE SREBRENICA AREA

In response to a request from the United Nations, at 14:40 local

time today, NATO began providing Close Air Support in the

Srebrenica area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. NATO aircraft attacked

targets as identified by, and under the control of, the UN. The

results of the attacks are at this point not known. Further

details about the operation will be released as soon as possible

by AFSOUTH.

NATO is standing by to provide whatever further support the UN

may request.

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COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE (95)68 11 juillet 1995

FOURNITURE D'UN APPUI AERIEN RAPPROCHE

PAR DES AVIONS DE L'OTAN DANS LA REGION DE

SREBRENICA

En reponse a une demande des Nations unies, a 14h40 (heure

locale) aujourd'hui, l'OTAN a commence a fournir un appui aerien

rapproche dans la region de Srebrenica, en Bosnie-Herzegovine.

Des avions de l'OTAN ont attaque des objectifs identifies par les

Nations unies, et sous leur controle. De plus amples details sur

l'operation seront communiques des que possible par l'AFSOUTH.

L'OTAN se tient prete a fournir tout autre appui que les Nations

unies pourraient demander.

 

http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1995/p95-068.htm

 

, 1992. 1995., :

July 1995
On 11 July, the UN called for NATO Close Air Support to protect UN peacekeepers threatened by Bosnian Serb forces advancing on the UN-declared Safe Area of Srebrenica. Under the control of the UN, targets identified by the UN were attacked by NATO aircraft. Despite NATO's air support, the Safe Area of Srebrenica fell to Bosnian Serb forces. The nearby Safe Area of Zepa was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces shortly after.

 

Chapter 5: The Alliance's Operational Role in Peacekeeping
  The Process of Bringing Peace to the Former Yugoslavia
 

Evolution of the Conflict

The evolution of the conflict and the process which culminated in the signing of the Bosnian Peace Agreement were long and drawn out. The successive actions taken by the Alliance in support of the United Nations between 1992 and 1995 are chronicled below.

Throughout this period, NATO conducted contingency planning for a range of options to support UN activities relating to the conflict. Contingency plans were provided to the UN for enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina; the establishment of relief zones and safe havens for civilians in Bosnia; and ways to prevent the spread of the conflict to Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia . Contingency plans were also made available for the protection of humanitarian assistance, the monitoring of heavy weapons, and the protection of UN forces on the ground.

July 1992
NATO ships belonging to the Alliance's Standing Naval Force Mediterranean, assisted by NATO Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), began monitoring operations in the Adriatic. These operations were undertaken in support of the UN arms embargo against all republics of the former Yugoslavia (UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 713) and sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (UNSCR 757).

October 1992
Aircraft belonging to NATO's Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) began monitoring operations in support of UNSCR 781, which established a no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Data on possible violations of the no-fly zone was passed to UN authorities on a regular basis.

November 1992
As an extension of maritime monitoring operations, NATO and WEU forces in the Adriatic began enforcement operations in support of the sanctions and embargo imposed by the UN (UNSCR 787). Operations were no longer restricted to registering possible violations but included stopping, inspecting and diverting ships when required.

March 1993
On 31 March the UN Security Council passed Resolution 816, which authorised enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina and extended the ban to cover flights by all fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft except those authorised by UNPROFOR.

April 1993
A NATO enforcement operation (Deny Flight) began on 12 April. Initially it involved some 50 fighter and reconnaissance aircraft (later increased to more than 200) from various Alliance nations, flying from airbases in Italy and from aircraft carriers in the Adriatic. By December 1995, almost 100 000 sorties had been flown by fighter planes and supporting aircraft.

June 1993
At a joint session of the North Atlantic Council and the Council of the Western European Union on 8 June, a combined NATO/WEU concept of operations was approved for the enforcement of the UN arms embargo in the Adriatic. The resulting operation (Sharp Guard) included a single command and control arrangement under the authority of the Councils of both organisations. Operational control of the combined NATO/WEU Task Force was delegated, through NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), to the Commander Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe (COMNAVSOUTH) in Naples.

During the enforcement operation approximately 74 000 ships were challenged by NATO and WEU forces, nearly 6 000 were inspected at sea and just over 1 400 were diverted and inspected in port. No ships were reported to have broken the embargo, though six attempted to do so and were stopped.

With the termination of the UN arms embargo on 18 June 1996, Operation Sharp Guard was suspended. The NATO and WEU Councils stated that both organisations were prepared to resume it, in accordance with UNSCR 1022, if UN sanctions were reimposed.

August 1993
A number of decisions were taken by the North Atlantic Council, following the adoption of a resolution by the UN Security Council in relation to the overall protection of Safe Areas (UNSCR 836). On 2 August, in the face of continued attacks, it agreed to make immediate preparations for undertaking stronger measures against those responsible, including air strikes, if the strangulation of Sarajevo and other areas continued and if interference with humanitarian assistance to the region did not cease. NATO Military Authorities were tasked to draw up operational options for air strikes, in close coordination with UNPROFOR.

On 9 August, the North Atlantic Council approved a series of "Operational Options for Air Strikes in Bosnia and Herzegovina" recommended by the NATO Military Committee. These options addressed the targeting identification process as well as NATO/UN command and control arrangements for air strikes.

January 1994
At the Brussels Summit, Alliance leaders reaffirmed their readiness to carry out air strikes in order to prevent the strangulation of Sarajevo and of other Safe Areas and threatened areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

February 1994
On 9 February, the North Atlantic Council, responding to a request by the UN Secretary General, authorised the Commander of Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH) to launch air strikes - at the request of the UN - against artillery and mortar positions in or around Sarajevo determined by UNPROFOR to be responsible for attacks against civilian targets in that city. The Council also decided that all heavy weapons had to be withdrawn from a 20-kilometre exclusion zone around Sarajevo or placed under UNPROFOR control within 10 days. After the expiry of the 10-day period, heavy weapons of any of the Parties found within the exclusion zone, unless under UNPROFOR control, would be subject to air strikes.

On 28 February, four warplanes violating the no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina were shot down by NATO aircraft in the first military engagement ever to be undertaken by the Alliance.

April 1994
Following a request from the UN, NATO aircraft provided Close Air Support on 10-11 April to protect UN personnel in Gorazde, designated by the UN as a Safe Area.

On 22 April, in response to a request by the UN Secretary General to support the UN in its efforts to end the siege of Gorazde and to protect other Safe Areas, the North Atlantic Council announced that air strikes would be launched unless Bosnian Serb attacks ceased immediately.

By 24 April, Bosnian Serb forces had pulled back three kilometres from the centre of Gorazde and humanitarian relief convoys and medical teams were allowed to enter the city. The Council declared that air strikes would be launched against remaining Bosnian Serb heavy weapons within a 20-kilometre Exclusion Zone around the centre of Gorazde from 27 April.

Air strikes were also authorised if other UN-designated Safe Areas (Bihac, Srebrenica, Tuzla and Zepa) were attacked by heavy weapons from any range. These areas could also become Exclusion Zones if, in the judgement of NATO and UN Military Commanders, there was a concentration or movement of heavy weapons within a radius of 20 kilometres around them.

July 1994
NATO military authorities were tasked to undertake contingency planning to assist the UN forces in withdrawing from Bosnia and Herzegovina and/or Croatia if that became unavoidable.

August 1994
On 5 August, at the request of UNPROFOR, NATO aircraft attacked a target within the Sarajevo Exclusion Zone. Agreement was reached by NATO and UNPROFOR to order this action after weapons were seized by Bosnian Serbs from a weapons collection site near Sarajevo.

September 1994
On 22 September, following a Bosnian Serb attack on an UNPROFOR vehicle near Sarajevo, NATO aircraft carried out an air strike against a Bosnian Serb tank at the request of UNPROFOR.

November 1994
On 19 November, in implementation of UNSCR 958, the North Atlantic Council approved the extension of Close Air Support to Croatia for the protection of UN forces in that country.

NATO aircraft attacked the Udbina airfield in Serb-held Croatia on 21 November, in response to attacks launched from that airfield against targets in the Bihac area of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On 23 November, after attacks launched from a surface-to-air missile site south of Otoka (north-west Bosnia and Herzegovina) on two NATO aircraft, air strikes were conducted against air defence radars in that area.

May 1995
After violations of the Exclusion Zones and the shelling of Safe Areas, NATO forces carried out air strikes on 25 and 26 May against Bosnian Serb ammunition depots in Pale. Some 370 UN peacekeepers in Bosnia were taken hostage and subsequently used as human shields at potential targets in a bid to prevent further air strikes.

On 30 May, NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, condemned the escalation of violence in Bosnia and the hostile acts against UN personnel by the Bosnian Serbs.

June 1995
Plans for a NATO-led operation to support the withdrawal of UN forces were provisionally approved by the North Atlantic Council. The Alliance expressed its hope that its planning and preparations would serve to underpin a continued UN presence in the area.

By 18 June, the remaining UN hostages had been released. UN peacekeeping forces which had been isolated at weapons collection sites around Sarajevo were withdrawn.

July 1995
On 11 July, the UN called for NATO Close Air Support to protect UN peacekeepers threatened by Bosnian Serb forces advancing on the UN-declared Safe Area of Srebrenica. Under the control of the UN, targets identified by the UN were attacked by NATO aircraft. Despite NATO's air support, the Safe Area of Srebrenica fell to Bosnian Serb forces. The nearby Safe Area of Zepa was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces shortly after.

On 25 July, the North Atlantic Council authorised military planning aimed at deterring an attack on the Safe Area of Gorazde, and the use of NATO air power if this Safe Area was threatened or attacked.

August 1995
On 1 August, the Council took similar decisions aimed at deterring attacks on the Safe Areas of Sarajevo, Bihac and Tuzla. On 4 August NATO aircraft conducted air strikes against Croatian Serb air defence radars near Udbina airfield and Knin in Croatia.

On 30 August, following continued attacks by Bosnian Serb artillery on Sarajevo, NATO aircraft commenced a series of air strikes against Bosnian Serb military targets in Bosnia, supported by the UN Rapid Reaction Force on Mt. Igman. The air operations were initiated after UN military commanders concluded that a mortar attack in Sarajevo two days earlier had come from Bosnian Serb positions.

The operations were decided upon jointly by the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH) and the Force Commander, UN Peace Forces, in accordance with the authority given to them under UN Security Council Resolution 836, in line with the North Atlantic Council's decisions of 25 July and 1 August 1995 endorsed by the UN Secretary General.

The common objectives of NATO and the UN were to reduce the threat to the Sarajevo Safe Area and to deter further attacks there or on any other Safe Area; to bring about the withdrawal of Bosnian Serb heavy weapons from the total Exclusion Zone around Sarajevo; and to secure complete freedom of movement for UN forces and personnel and non-governmental organisations, as well as unrestricted use of Sarajevo Airport.

September 1995
On 20 September, the NATO and UN Force Commanders concluded that the Bosnian Serbs had complied with the conditions set down by the UN and air strikes were discontinued. They stressed that any attack on Sarajevo or any other Safe Area, or other non-compliance with the provisions of the Sarajevo Exclusion Zone, or interference with freedom of movement or with the functioning of Sarajevo airport, would be subject to investigation and possible resumption of air strikes.

October 1995
On 4 October, three missiles were fired by NATO aircraft at Bosnian Serb radar sites at two different locations after anti-aircraft radar had locked on to Alliance aircraft.

On 9 October, in response to a request for air support from UN peace forces which had come under artillery shelling from Bosnian Serb guns for a second consecutive day, NATO aircraft attacked a Bosnian Serb Army Command and Control bunker, near Tuzla.

November 1995
As prospects for peace in Bosnia improved, the Alliance reaffirmed its readiness to help to implement a peace plan. Preparations were stepped up for a NATO-led force to implement the military aspects of the peace agreement.

On 21 November, the Bosnian Peace Agreement between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was initialled in Dayton, Ohio (USA).

The conclusion of the Peace Agreement enabled the UN Security Council to suspend sanctions (UNSCR 1022) and to phase out its arms embargo, subject to certain conditions (UNSCR 1021).

Enforcement of sanctions by NATO and the WEU ceased on 22 November 1995 but could be reinstated if UN conditions were not met.

December 1995
The Bosnian Peace Agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December.

The NATO enforcement operation (Deny Flight), begun in April 1993, was terminated. On 15 December, the UN Security Council adopted UNSCR 1031, transferring authority for such operations from the UN to NATO from 20 December and giving NATO a mandate to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement.

The airspace over Bosnia and Herzegovina was subsequently controlled by the Implementation Force (IFOR) (see below) as part of its task.

The North Atlantic Council also decided that, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1037, Operation Joint Endeavour should provide Close Air Support for the UN Task Force in the region of Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES), terminated in January 1998 on completion of the UNTAES mandate.

  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

 

http://www.nato.int/docu/handbook/2001/hb050102.htm