Nato Jets Resume Bombing As Serbs Ignore Ultimatum
American and allied warplanes Tuesday resumed their bombing campaign against rebel Serb forces in Bosnia after determining that the Serbs were ignoring an ultimatum to pull their weapons away from Sarajevo.
NATO jets, flying from bases in Italy as well as from aircraft carriers in the Adriatic, hit targets in eastern Bosnia as well as around the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Pale, sending plumes of gray and white smoke into the air.
Hours later, a volley of up to 10 shells from Serb guns hit central Sarajevo. French gunners from the multinational Rapid Reaction Force based on Mount Igman, which overlooks the Bosnian capital, fired back at the Serbs.
NATO officials at their military headquarters here refused to reveal the warplanes’ targets, other than to say the sites were similar to those hit in last week’s raids and that the air campaign was open-ended.
NATO jets were reported to have struck a rebel Serb command and control bunker, ammunitions depot and a vital communications tower in northeast Bosnia, cutting most phone and television links to Pale.
Despite the show of force, however, Tuesday’s raids only seemed to further embolden the rebel Serbs.
They appeared no closer to meeting Western demands to lift the siege of Sarajevo.
Still unclear is just how much damage has been caused by the airstrikes, given the mobile nature of much of the Serbs’ military equipment and the difficulty of locating targets in the mountainous, often foggy terrain.