• U.S.

Blasting A Corridor

2 minute read

THE CONQUEST CAME WITH SURPRISING EASE. FOR months Serb forces have struggled to secure a broad corridor across northern Bosnia connecting Croatian regions they control with Serbia itself. The town of Bosanski Brod, where Muslim and Croat troops were easily supplied from across the Sava River in Croatia, was a stone in their path.

No more. Faced with blistering air and artillery attacks Tuesday, the defenders retreated over the last remaining Sava River bridge in Bosnia. Wednesday morning the bridge was blown up, leaving only a handful of towns in northern Bosnia still under the control of the Bosnian government.

The Serb victory left some routed defenders and Western diplomats wondering aloud whether the Croats had yielded Bosanski Brod by prior agreement. Bosnia’s Croats want western Herzegovina to the south just as badly as Bosnia’s Serbs need the corridor.

( While peace-conference moderators Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen searched for ways to stop such a partition, the U.N. Security Council voted to create a war-crimes commission that will gather evidence of atrocities in former Yugoslavia. The U.N. also voted to impose a ban on military flights over Bosnia to stop Serb air strikes, but it did not authorize enforcement of the ban. President Bush had offered to enforce the no-fly zone with U.S. planes, but France and Britain feared that if a Serb plane were shot down, their ground troops in Bosnia would be vulnerable to revenge attacks. There has, after all, been no shortage of those.

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