CNN Balkan Conflict News

Timeline

With independence came war:
Recent events in the Balkans



Soldier with flag

August 4, 1995 -- Croatians take Knin
Less than 36 hours after starting their advance, Croatian forces recapture the rebel Serb "capital" of Knin. As Croat citizens revel in the streets (180K AIFF sound), Serbs head for refuge in Bosnia. Watch Croatian soldiers as they mobilize on Knin and other Serb strongholds (1MB QT movie).



Clinton

August 1, 1995 -- U.S. House says lift embargo
The U.S. House of Representatives votes to lift the arms embargo against Bosnia. President Clinton warns that this will involve U.S. troops in an evacuation of U.N. peacekeepers. Meanwhile, NATO extends its threat of anti-Serb air strikes to protect U.N. safe areas beyond Gorazde. Hear an impassioned anti-embargo speech (300K AIFF sound) by U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf (R - Virginia)



Croatian soldier

July 28, 1995 -- Croatian troops mobilize
The war widens as Croatia sends thousands of troops into Bosnia. They cut Serbian supply lines and overtake the towns of Glamoc and Grahavo in southwestern Bosnia. The days to come will bring more Croatian gains.



July 26, 1995 -- U.S. Senate: Lift arms embargo
The U.S. Senate votes to lift the arms embargo against Bosnia. Imposed on all of former Yugoslavia in September 1991, the embargo weighs heaviest on Bosnian government forces because Serbs inherited weapons from the Serb-led Yugoslav army. The day after the Senate vote, Rep. Richard Gephardt, D - Missouri, tries to defend President Clinton's Bosnia policy (137K AIFF sound).

Refugees

July 25, 1995 -- Zepa falls to Serbs
After days of conflicting reports, the safe area of Zepa crumbles before advancing Bosnian Serb forces. Many Muslim refugees seek cover in the hills surrounding the town. Others are packed onto evacuation buses by Bosnian Serbs. After executing the Muslim commander of the government forces, the Serbs burn the town.



Rapid Reaction Force

July 23, 1995 -- Rapid Reaction Forces deployed
U.N. commanders deployed in Bosnia order the Rapid Reaction Force to send artillery units to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. Part of a 12,000-member contingent of mostly French and British soldiers, the special combat group settles in at Mount Igman overlooking the city. A day later, UNPROFOR spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Vernon warns of escalation in the Bosnian conflict (88K AIFF sound).


Cockpit HUD view

July 21, 1995 -- NATO threatens to use air strikes
After international military leaders meet in London, NATO threatens air strikes to protect the safe area of Gorazde. See footage of Gorazde, taken from the cockpit of an F/A-18 plane (850K QT movie).



Bosnian soldier

July 18, 1995 -- Serbs target Zepa
Bosnian government troops threaten to take U.N. peacekeepers hostage unless the U.N. orders air strikes to prevent the fall of Zepa. The Bosnian Serbs, close to capturing the town, say they'll respond to air strikes by shelling eight Ukrainian peacekeepers, who are in a U.N. base near Zepa. The next day, White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry expresses concern over the refugee crisis in Bosnia (306K AIFF sound).

July 11, 1995 -- Srebrenica tumbles to Serbs
Bosnian Serb forces sweep into a U.N. safe area in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica, causing a massive exodus of civilians. Dutch peacekeepers call in air strikes by U.S. and Dutch warplanes, but the defensive effort fails and the peacekeepers withdraw.

Peacekeeper hostage

May 26, 1995 -- U.N. peacekeepers seized
Bosnian Serbs seize U.N. peacekeeping troops, using them as human shields against NATO airstrikes. All hostages are subsequently released. Several days later, British Prime Minister John Major says it may be necessary to remove British troops from Bosnia if the risk becomes too great (188K AIFF sound).



Smoke from explosion

May 25, 1995 -- NATO launches air strikes
NATO launches air strikes against Bosnian Serbs. The U.N. commander in Bosnia had threatened one day earlier to use the strikes if heavy weapons in the capital of Sarajevo were not silenced by the morning of May 25.

May 1, 1995 -- Fighting renews
A four month cease-fire ends in Bosnia and fighting, which had never completely ended, escalates. In Croatia, the government begins a new offensive against Croatian Serbs. Hear the rattle of gunfire in Bosnia (179K AIFF sound).

Carter

December 23, 1994 -- Serbs agree to cease-fire
Bosnian Serbs agree to a temporary case-fire following talks with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Despite early problems with violence, the cease-fire lasts four months.

June 1991 -- With independence, war
Fighting erupts after Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from the Yugoslav federation. The battles were to continue for years, as suggested by this 1994 footage from the shelling of a marketplace in Sarajevo (2M QT movie).



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