Serbian authorities mark anniversary of Kosovo war battle

Tanjug/Dragan Kujundžić

The Serbian authorities marked the 23rd anniversary of the heaviest battle of the Kosovo war with a formal gathering attended by the prime minister, veterans and retired officers.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ana Brnabic told the gathering that the battle for the Kosare outpost on what was then the border of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Albania was a struggle to defend the state borders and in defense of the freedom and dignity of Serbia and the Serbian people.

She said that 108 Serbian soldiers died in the battle. “The 108, including 19 volunteers, defended our country knowing that they would probably not see tomorrow. They are a symbol of courage and sacrifice and the values which preserve the unity of a people in hard times and set an example of how Serbia is defended in the worst of times,” she said.

According to Brnabic, freedom and peace are what Serbia fights. She pledged to preserve Serbia’s freedom and independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity without jeopardizing others but always defending her own.

President Aleksandar Vucic laid a wreath at the Monument to the Heroes of Kosare to mark the anniversary of the end of the battle.

The battle of Kosare saw FRY military forces on one side and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) on the other, the latter benefiting from NATO air strikes and support from the Albanian military. The fighting broke out on April 9, 1999 and lasted until June 14 when the Kosovo war ended. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. Kosare is located in the Djakovica area at an altitude of 390 meters.