The Big Picture: The NATO bombing of Novi Sad.

Burning NIS oil refinery in Novi Sad during 1999. NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

The NATO bombing of Novi Sad during the Kosovo War in 1999 remains one of the most controversial episodes in the history of modern warfare. Novi Sad, the second-largest city in Serbia, was severely affected during the NATO campaign aimed at curbing the Serbian aggression in Kosovo. This operation brought to the fore many issues concerning warfare, geopolitics, and the protection of civilian populations.

The late 1990s were a period of significant unrest in the Balkans, with ethnic tensions between Serbs, Albanians, and other groups reaching a boiling point. The Kosovo War, which took place between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was marked by human rights violations, mass displacements, and atrocities, mainly committed by Serbian forces against Albanians. The international community, represented mainly by Western powers, sought to intervene and stop the violence, leading to NATO’s 78-day air campaign against Serbian military targets.

Novi Sad, far from the epicenter of the Kosovo conflict, became a significant target during the bombing campaign due to its strategic importance. The city is home to vital bridges over the Danube River, which were seen as critical infrastructure for the Yugoslav military. Consequently, NATO decided to neutralize these assets to hamper Serbian military movements.

Between March and June 1999, the city suffered numerous air raids. The three main bridges over the Danube were destroyed, which not only crippled military transportation but also severely affected civilian life. Novi Sad’s water supply and electricity were intermittently disrupted, causing hardships for its citizens. The destruction of these bridges also had longer-term economic consequences, with disrupted trade routes affecting the city’s economy.

Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: