Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Balkans at War

On 25th June 1991 in Ljubljana, the capital of the Yugoslavian Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian parliament voted In favor of independence. However, Slovenia's movement towards freedom was not going to be as easy as it seemed. The Federal Government in Belgrade announced that there would be military action taken against Slovenia and all Federal Army barracks in Slovenia and Croatia were put in full alert. The next day, Slovenia's territorial forces were mobilized as barricades and roadblocks were erected against the possible Federal Army's intervention. The Federal Government in (Belgrade decided to step up its action and launched airstrikes. Jastreb fighter-bombers and Mig-21s bombed 8linik airport as well as several border outposts. But the Federal Army suffered a severe setback and dissensions began to appear among the JNA (Yugoslav People's Army). Three factions were clashing within the JNA: those that favored a "Greater Yugoslavia", the "Greater Serbians" who endorsed Serbion expansionism, and the "career soldiers" who opposed intervention against other republics. At the end, the Federal Army seemed to gain an upper hand and directed further armored thrusts at Slovenia. The Federal Government began to lose grip on Slovenia in early July although it still retained a large number of border posts, not willing to give them up. The Federal Government had seriously underestimated the Slovenes' determination to become independent.