The Former US Secretary of Defense Regrets the Bombing of Yugoslavia

Translated by Ollie Richardson


The former United States Secretary of Defense William Perry said that he regrets the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO forces in 1999.

Perry, who held the post of the head of the Pentagon in 1994-1997, said this to journalists at the presentation of the book “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink” in Moscow.

“It happened so long ago that it is difficult for me to reflect on it. It was — what, 1999… Yes,” said Perry to a question after short silence.

He noted that he especially regrets the “inadvertent” bombing of the Chinese Embassy. “I regret that I was in China when it happened. I heard a lot about it …” he added.

The military operation of NATO against Yugoslavia was conducted from March 24th to June 10th, 1999. Both military and civil objects were struck. The exact death toll of civilians hasn’t yet been determined. It is about 2000 people, among whom there are hundreds of children.

The alliance struck blows on peaceful cities and infrastructure without a UN resolution, using ammunition including radioactive depleted uranium. During one of the bombings the Embassy of China in Belgrade was destroyed. Three people died. The alliance denies any blame, stating that the bomb hit the diplomatic mission building by mistake.

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