Bosnian commanders who made great sacrifices to protect their country during the Bosnian war said that there was much similarity between what they went through and what is taking place in Syria today and that the international community repeated mistakes made in Bosnia within Syria.
Speaking to the Anadolu Agency (AA), the first commander of the Bosnian army Sefer Halilovic underlined that what was happening in Syria today resembled the incidents in Bosnia 20 years ago.
"The international community, primarily the United Nations, remained insensitive to the drama in Syria. International organizations are not intervening in Syria as they have no interests in that country. They had intervened in Iraq and Libya immediately. U.S. interests and Russian interests in Syria are in conflict with each other. While the interests of great powers are in conflict with each other, the people suffer. The world knows what is taking place in Syria just as it did 20 years ago in Bosnia. The same world, as was the case in Bosnia, did not intervene," Halilovic underlined.
"The international community keeps silence on Syria as they did on Bosnia as the Muslims are suffering in pain," Halilovic noted.
"The decisions of the UN and great western powers only had a negative impact on the fate of the Bosnians," Halilovic said.
"A decision was taken to implement an arms embargo on Bosnia. Such a decision only affected the Bosnian army. The Serbians and Croatians were not affected by the arms embargo. Had it been the Christians under siege, the world would have solved the matter in a month. Some theorists compare the Muslims of Bosnia to those of Spain. They argued that, as was the case in Spain, no Muslims would remain in Bosnia. While western countries were insensitive on Bosnia, Islamic countries were weak and incapable of taking action on Bosnia. The same scenario is in Syria today," Halilovic indicated.
-"UN left the two countries alone"-
Yovan Divyak, a retired general of the Bosnian army, said that the world said "never again" after the Second World War and the Srebrenitsa genocide in Bosnia.
"However, same things are taking place in Syria now," Divyak underlined.
"People say 'never again' after each war but no lessons get learned. The UN declaration talks about protecting people suffering in pain. As Bosnia, Syria is a member of the UN. Yet, the UN is leaving Syria alone as children and adults get killed every day. I feel pain when I see children in Syria who have lost hands, legs and have injuries on their heads as was the case in Bosnia," Divyak stated.
"I had a chance to watch on TV the clashes taking place in Syria. All I saw reminded me of Bosnia 20 years ago," Divyak said.
Sefir Patkovic, a hero of the Bosnian army during the war and commander of the Seventh Muslim Brigade, accused the international community for having two faces regarding the Syrian issue.
"As in Bosnia, we see two faces of the world in Syria. All those taking place in Syria give pain to the Bosnians. Even today, we continue to remember the incidents of 20 years ago with great pain," Patkovic noted.
"The international community has remained insensitive on Syria. This indicates that they could not choose the side that is right. While their number may be few, there are countries like Turkey, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who have chosen the side that is right. Individual initiatives on Syria have been insufficient and the international community must act together on this issue," Patkovic underlined.
One of the first organizers of the resistance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, commander Fuad Abacic stressed that "the scenario put into place in Bosnia 20 years ago now gets repeated in Syria".
Reporting by Faruk Vele / Senita Sehercehayic