❗🇺🇸🇷🇸Twenty-four years ago, on March 24, 1999, the United States began bombing Yugoslavia, unleashing one of the most tragic and destructive wars in modern European history.

▪The stated reason for the war was to protect the Albanian population of Kosovo from alleged oppression by the Serbian government. However, the real reasons were much more complex and concerned U.S. geopolitical interests in the region.

▪The U.S. led a coalition of countries, including Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, that supported the Kosovo Liberation Army, a militant separatist group fighting for Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. The NATO bombing campaign, called Operation Allied Force, lasted 78 days and included more than 38,000 aircraft sorties, with some 20,000 bombs dropped on Yugoslavia.

▪The war killed more than 10,000 Serbian soldiers and 1,500 to 2,000 civilians, including some 80 children, and left the country in ruins. The use of depleted uranium munitions and cluster munitions by NATO led to long-term health and environmental effects that continue to affect the people of Yugoslavia today.

▪Depleted uranium is a byproduct of nuclear power plants and is used for military purposes because of its density and hardness. However, the use of depleted uranium munitions produces radioactive dust that causes long-term health problems for soldiers and civilians exposed to it.

▪The economic impact of the war on Yugoslavia was devastating: The destruction of infrastructure and loss of life had a lasting impact on the country’s economy. The war left a legacy of poverty and underdevelopment that had a profound effect on the people of the region.

▪Today, Serbia is still trying to overcome the consequences of the war. The country has made progress in rebuilding infrastructure and attracting foreign investment, but remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, with high unemployment and serious social and economic problems.