Poison Gas Attacks on Srebrenica in March 1993
It is generally known that Serb forces used chemical weapons and gassed Bosniaks during the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995. For example, on 21 July 1995, Serb General Zdravko Tolimir sent a report from Zepa to General Radomir Miletic, acting Chief of General Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army, asking for help to crush some BH Army strongholds explaining to Miletic “the best way to do it would be to use chemical weapons.“ In the same report, Chemical Tolimir proposed chemical strikes against refugee columns leaving Zepa, because that would “force the Muslim fighters to surrender quickly”.
However, what is less commonly known is a fact that two years before the genocide, Serb forces carried out at least three separate chemical strikes against the enclave of Srebrenica. According to the report #262/93, published on 3 April 1993 by the Srebrenica War Presidency, Serb forces in the area used chemical agents in three separate attacks against the town.
In the report (below), the Srebrenica war presidency described in detail the events “on the Srebrenica front between 20 January and 3 April 1993.” For 15 March 1993, they recorded the following:
“15 March 1993 - Intensive shelling of the Biljeg, Kragljivoda and Osat areas. Three civilians killed and 12 wounded. Infantry attack on Biljeg, which the aggressor occupied during the day. The aggressor dropped chemical agents from helicopters in the Biljeg area.”
“19 March 1993 – At 0530 hours, two places dropped chemical agents over the Osatnica MZ. Infantry attacks in the Kragljivoda, Osat and Poznanovici sectors intensified with artillery support from Serbia and Jezero. Shelling of the Potocari and Srebrenica areas increased, and there was an attempted infantry penetration in the Potocari sector. Eight civilians were killed and 18 wounded.”
“20 March 1993 – At about 0530 hours, chemical agents were dropped from a helicopter in Osmace. Attack on the Budak – Pale line. Potocari, Osmace and Skenderovici shelled. The aggressor captured ?ehita Hill near Tokoljak. 684 civilians (women and children) evacuated to Tuzla.”