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22.01.2019, Strbac: Croatia celebrating Murderers as National Heroes

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SRNA, 22.01.2019, Strbac: Croatia celebrating Murderers as National Heroes

BELGRADE, January 22 /SRNA/ – Croatia celebrates those who killed and massacred Serbs in the Maslenica operation in Ravni Kotari in 1993 and who have taken them to prison camps, and even though the names of those who are responsible for ethnic cleansing of this area under UN protection are known no one has ever been prosecuted, the director of the Veritas Documentation Center, Savo Strbac, told SRNA.

“It is not a secret in Croatia as to who led the operation, who took part in it, and all these people are national heroes. Miljan Brkic led the operation on the Mali Alan mountain pass where 22 soldiers from Gracac were massacred only 50-100 m away from an UNPROFOR watchtower. Brkic is today the second man in the HDZ and the deputy speaker of the Croatian Parliament,” Strbac said.

He has said that Ante Gotovina was an envoy of the Croatian president at a central celebration of the Maslenica operation yesterday in Zadar, as well as Mladen Markac, who are among people who planned and conducted the operation, but also Mirko Sundov, who at the time commanded the 4th Guard Brigade, and today is the chief of staff of the Croatian Army.

“Seven or eight years ago criminal charges were filed from Belgrade for the massacre on the Mali Alan mountain pass. Everything is known, but when our people ask what is happening with the case, they are told that an investigation is in progress. They will never prosecute their ‘heroes’,” Strbac said.

He says that Croats call Maslenica “the mother of all victories” in the 1990s war, since they “proved” that they can defeat Serbs, after which the Medacki Dzep, Flash and Strom operations followed.

Strbac asks what would have happened had the JNA not withdrawn from the area only eight months before the operation in keeping with the Vance-Owen plan when the heavy weapons were put under control of UNPROFOR.

He explained that at that moment, only several hundred police officers defended the borders of the Krajina, because, in keeping with the Vance-Owen plan, the Republic of the Serbian Krajina should have formed police units.

Strbac has said that Krajina institutions noticed on time that Croatia is deploying troops at its borders and informed UNPROFOR about it, but they claimed that there is no any danger and that these are preparations for a military training exercise of the Croatian Army.

“This is why this was a surprise, fierce operation. UNPROFOR soldiers withdrew, like they usually do, and fled together with Serbs. Serbs who could not flee, were killed,” Strbac said.

He says that the goal of those who mined the Peruca dam was not really to destroy it but to warn Croats to halt the Maslenica operation.

“The dam was held by Serbs until September 1992, and then, in keeping with the Vance-Owen plan, they surrendered it to the UNPROFOR and when the Maslenica operation started, someone mined the dam, and it is fortunate that the dam was not destroyed completely since there were half billion of cubic meters of water in the artificial lake and a flood wave would have caused a catastrophe and deaths of around 30,000 people,” Strbac has said.

He has said that Croats accused Serbian Gen. Borislav Djukic of mining the dam and have recently sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Strbac has said that civilians killed in the Maslenica operation were in average 60 years old, that 34 women were killed and they were in average 57 years old, that three children up to 12 years of age were killed and that 11 persons went missing, six of whom are civilians, including three women.

He has said that the question is whether the sufferings of Serbs would have been even greater had it not been for the solidarity and unity of Serbs, and noted that volunteers from all sides were helping the local population, including the Wolves from Vucjak unit, which commander Veljko Milankovic was seriously injured and later died of injuries.

“People from Ravni Kotari, from villages of Kasici, Islam Grcki, and ethnically mixed villages, which are large villages, had to move out and flee from criminals and no one has yet been brought to justice for this,” Strbac has said.

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