Updated: 20-Nov-2001 Week of 24-30 March 1999

24 Mar. 1999

On 24 March, Operation Allied Force began after months of intense effort by the International Community to find a political solution to the crisis in Kosovo. NATO's decision to resort to the use of force was taken only after it became clear that all efforts to achieve a negotiated, political solution to the Kosovo crisis had failed and no other alternative was open.

NATO aeroplanes initially conducted air strikes against Serbian air-defences. Pre- (top right) and post (bottom left)-strike aerial photographs show the destruction of an anti-air missiles site in Obrva, Serbia

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The Alliance's ultimate objective continues to be to support the diplomatic efforts of the international community to find a political solution to this crisis. Intensive air operations are now being conducted against Serb military and police targets with the aim of disrupting and weakening the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) government's ability to carry on its campaign of terror against the civilian population of Kosovo, to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe, and to avoid the spread of instability in the region. This expansion against the military structure of the FRY will intensify degradation of strategic targets and FRY forces in Kosovo despite significant risk. Every effort is being made to avoid collateral damage.

NATO condemns the wholesale expulsion of civilians from their homes and the wanton destruction now being perpetrated by Serbs security forces. The Alliance and its member states stand ready to support international humanitarian efforts to ease the plight of refugees forced our of their homeland by Serbian forces.

27 Mar. 1999
NATO Secretary General directs SACEUR to initiate a broader range of air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, intensifying action against Yugoslav forces.