US COULD HAVE PREVENTED THE FALL OF SREBRENICA
Courtesy: Bosnian Genocide Blog
Serbia’s Involvement Unquestionable: Chief of Staff of the Serbian Army in Belgrade, Gen. Momcilo Perisic, Planned the Attack on Srebrenica with Gen. Ratko Mladic.
Could U.S. Have Prevented Assault?
Report says agencies intercepted Serb plans to attack Srebrenica
The Deseret News, p.A4
4 November 1995.
LONDON (AP) — U.S. intelligence services intercepted Serb military conversations revealing plans to attack the U.N. safe area of Srebrenica in July but did not notify the United Nations or NATO, an independent research group said.
The British American Security Information Council (BASIC) quoted intelligence sources as saying U.S. agencies, which regularly tap telephone lines between Serbia and Bosnia, listened to conversations between generals planning the Srebrenica assault.
U.N. spokesmen have said the United Nations had no advance knowledge of a military build-up by the Serbs near Srebrenica, one of six U.N.-designated safe areas.
The Serbs overran a small U.N. peacekeeping contingent and seized the town in early July. About 8,000 of Srebrenica’s 40,000 inhabitants remain missing, and the United States has accused Bosnian Serbs of massacring as many as 2,700 of them. Other estimates put the death toll at 4,000. [Please note these were initial estimates. So far, around 6,500 victims of the Srebrenica massacre have been DNA-identified. The matching rate between DNA profiles extracted from bones and blood samples supports an estimate of around 8,100 victims of the Srebrenica genocide.]
“Washington could have prevented the conquest of Srebrenica and the mass execution that followed,” said the report, which appeared in the council’s newsletter on international security policy.
In Washington, a U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “We did not have that type of information, that the attack was imminent based on that type of information. We had known for some time that Srebrenica was vulnerable.”
But a U.S. government official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the United States had recognized for two years that Srebrenica was indefensible because the Serb forces needed to take it were essentially in place.
In its report, the council quoted intelligence sources as saying that starting in mid-June, the U.S. monitored almost daily conversations between Serbian army chief of staff Gen. Momcilo Perisic and Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic.
“During these conversations, the two generals planned the military operation against the U.N. protection zone,” the council said.