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Anniversary of the bloody Battle of Kosare: 22 years ago, the heroic Battle of Serbian heroes began

On an outpost on the Yugoslav-Albanian border on the Junik Mountains, which lie next to Prokletije, the Yugoslav Army (VJ) defended the border of our country from the terrorist KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army"), the Albanian Army, and NATO aviation

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22 years ago today, at the height of the NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ; Serbia and Montenegro), the largest-scale land offensive against the territory of Yugoslavia, that resulted in the Battle of Kosare, was launched.

Good Friday in 1999 will remain inscribed as the day when the attack began, where the numerically stronger and superior enemy tried to carry out a land invasion via the Kosare outpost and penetrate Serbia's territory towards Metohija. They planned to capture the town of Djakovica and cross VJ lines between Djakovica and Prizren.

Their ultimate plan was to occupy the whole of Metohija and force VJ units into an open conflict, in order to find out where the VJ forces were and enable NATO warplanes to bomb them.

The beginning of the bloody Battle of Kosare

On April 9, in the early morning hours, a false attack was first launched against the Morina outpost, in order to drag Yugoslav units to there, and then a little later the fire spread to Kosare.

Cannons, howitzers and mortars were used in the attack, and the fire was coordinated by well-trained members of the French Foreign Legion. The Albanians attacked in three directions, the first was towards the Rasa Kosares peak, the second was towards the Kosare outpost, and the third towards the Maja Glava peak.

During the artillery shelling, approximately 1,500 KLA members approached the border unnoticed, to engage 110 VJ members.

The bloody battle lasted throughout the day, only to eventually see members of the so-called KLA capture Rasa Kosares, and two days later, under constant artillery, Maja Glava. VJ soldiers had to leave the outpost under mortar attack.

After the fall of the outpost, reinforcements arrived to the VJ - several hundred members of infantry and special units, so the front line was stabilized on April 19 and held with no major movements until the end of the war (mid-June 1999).

The fighting continued in May, with losses on both sides. In the night between May 10 and 11, NATO aircraft dropped otherwise prohibited cluster bombs, killing eight soldiers and one officer and wounding over 40. This allowed KLA terrorists to repel VJ forces from that position to the starting position.

Bitka na Košarama

Members of the terrorist KLA at the outpost; Photo: ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP / Profimedia

The Battle of Kosare

Only thanks to the courage and steadfastness of the members of the Yugoslav Army, the enemy was stopped at the very border, with a slight retreat that was necessary to avoid greater losses and establish a more efficient defense line.

The fighting lasted until June 14, 1999, when the Yugoslav Army, in accordance with the Military Technical Agreement signed near Kumanovo, withdrew from the Yugoslav-Albanian border and the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.

108 Yugoslav Army soldiers killed

The Battle of Kosare claimed many lives on both sides. According to General Zivanovic, the wartime commander of the VJ 125th Motorized Brigade, 108 members of the Army were killed in the Kosare area (18 officers and non-commissioned officers, 50 regular soldiers, 13 reservists, 24 volunteers).

Most of thos fallen were young men aged 18 to 20 who were serving their compulsory military service at the time.

The official losses of the KLA list about 200 dead, but it is believed that there were many more. Most of them came from Kosovo and Metohija, although it is not known exactly how many were from Albania and Macedonia.

The Battle of Kosare entered history textbooks

The Battle of Kosare is a part of history textbooks for eighth grade students in primary schools, where it is stated that the battle was named after the Kosare outpost, which was located on the border of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Albania, near Djakovica, and that it began on April 9, 1999.

Istorija, Osnovna škola, Bitna ka Košarama, Košare

Serbian history textbooks; Photo: kosovo-online.com

Soldiers and officers of the 53rd Border Battalion, the 125th Motorized Brigade of the Pristina Corps, the 5th Battalion of the Military Police, the 63rd Parachute and the 72nd Special Brigade took part in the fighting at Kosare.

Video: Heroes from Kosare echoes through Banja Luka

(Telegraf.rs)

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