CNN Balkan Conflict News

NATO says more strikes on way for Serbs

nighttime shelling

With massive onslaught, some possible NATO deaths

August 30, 1995 -- 8:15 a.m. EDT

Jackie Shymanski

From International Correspondent Jackie Shymanski and Correspondent John Holliman at the Pentagon

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (CNN) -- After the massive early morning sweep, NATO is set to launch even more air strikes against Bosnian Serb targets, according to NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes. British-French rapid reaction forces on the ground have joined in the assault near Sarajevo. Meanwhile, the European Commission is checking reports that five of its own monitors in Bosnia fell victim to the raids.



A-10 Warthog



map of Bosnia

Early Wednesday morning, dozens of NATO planes had pounded Serb positions to the south and east of Sarajevo, illuminating the darkened sky. The primary targets have been air defense systems, radar and communication sites. The strategy for the NATO attack was remarkably similar to the coalition strategy at the beginning of the Gulf War with Iraq. The first targets were surface-to-air missile sites and radar installations that could target NATO planes. The A-10 Warthog, which led the Gulf War air contingent, was visible in the first wave of attacks overnight.

Lt. Col. Chris Vernon

NATO officials said the first round of attacks was successful. The more than 60 planes involved returned safely to their bases and aircraft carriers, and NATO said almost all targets were damaged or destroyed. The NATO forces involved in the initial strike included U.S. fighter planes from a U.S. air base in Aviano, Italy, and jets from the USS Roosevelt, which arrived in the Adriatic Sea on Tuesday.

Clinton

There's been no official response to the bombing from Bosnian Serb leaders; it appears that the air strikes cut all communication from Serb military headquarters in Pale. But Bosnian Prime Minister Harris Silajdzic said of the NATO action, "It was an important step towards peace. The action restores the credibility of the international community. Now is the time for the Bosnian Serbs to reconsider their policies." In the United States, President Clinton expressed strong support for the air strikes. "I believe it is something that had to be done," he said (315k AIFF sound). Russian President Boris Yeltsin denounced the raids, calling them "cruel bombardment." However, he also criticized Bosnian Serb attacks on civilian targets.

The raids follow Monday's brutal shelling of the marketplace in Sarajevo. Thirty-seven people were killed in the lunchtime attack, with dozens more injured.



F-16 Falcon

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