US says F-16 flight meant to ‘warn’ Serbs — RT World News

The overflights of the fighter planes were supposed to demonstrate Washington's commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Two F-16 fighter jets practiced air strikes over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday, in what the US embassy in Sarajevo described as a show of force in support of the country's central government against the Bosnian Serbs.

U.S. Army Special Forces operators and members of the Bosnian Army served as forward air controllers on the ground, directing the aircraft as they flew over the Brčko and Tuzla regions of northern Bosnia. The two F-16s were accompanied by a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft.

the “Training event” It was also intended that “Demonstrating the United States’ commitment to ensuring territorial integrity and sovereignty [Bosnia]”,” The embassy saidAdding that the United States “We will not stand idly by while the Dayton Peace Agreement is reached [Bosnia’s] Institutions face challenges.”

The US-brokered agreement ended the 1992-1995 civil war by dividing Bosnia between Republika Srpska (Republika Srpska, Republika Srpska) and a federation run by Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats. Monday's demonstration came as Republika Srpska authorities celebrated its founding on January 9, 1991 – something Muslims had sought to ban as divisive.

The President of the Socialist Republic, Milorad Dodik, objected to what he described as repeated Violations of the peace agreement and the Bosnian constitution, saying that the entity would declare independence if it continued.

NATO bombed the Bosnian Serbs in 1995, and intervened in the war on behalf of the Bosniaks and Croats. Serbian air defenses shot down an F-16 piloted by Captain Scott O'Grady over Banja Luka in June of that year.

Officials in Srpska mostly ignored the American show of force on Monday, continuing with their celebrations on January 9.

“As far as I am concerned, they could have joined our show and flown their F-16s over Banja Luka alongside our helicopters.” Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic told reporters. “We're not going to waste our time on them, let them do their job and we'll do ours.”

In his speech, President Dodik insisted that the Serbs “We want peace and stability and do not threaten anyone.” But we will not allow anyone to infringe on what is theirs.

“For Serbs in these lands, freedom has never been a philosophical concept, but rather an existential one, which is the motivation behind many of our actions.” He said. “We don’t want war. We want Republika Srpska to remain our oasis of freedom.”

Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Porfirije pointed out that the ban on celebrating January 9 – the feast of Saint Stephen the Martyr – effectively means imposing a ban on Orthodox Christianity.

“We do not impose our way of life on anyone, but we cannot abandon our Saint in any way, because that would mean abandoning our faith and ourselves, and what is ours under the laws of man and God.” He said.

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