ZAGREB, Oct 6 (Hina) – Defence Minister Mario Banožić said on Tuesday the aggressor wanted a Serbian Dalmatia but that despite being technically less equipped, Croatian defenders managed to organise and defend the region, showing that Serbia would never have Dalmatia.
Banožić was speaking in Zadar on the 29th anniversary of the coastal city’s liberation.
“We know Serbia always wanted the Croatian Adriatic, and that was one of the main reasons why they attacked Zadar. They expected that with it, they would also get a Serbian Dalmatia,” the minister said.
Croatian defenders showed that Serbia would never have “a Serbian Dalmatia” and also contributed to the defence of Slavonia and the rest of Croatia, he said, thanking them as well as their families.
Mayor Branko Dukić said he remembered well when Zadar had no electricity and water, adding that its people remained united despite fearing for their lives.
Wreaths were laid and candles lit for the defenders killed defending the country and the city by their families, veterans’ organisations, the police, local officials and Banožić as the prime minister’s envoy at the Central Cross at the City Cemetery, at the Memorial of the 3rd Battalion “Imotski Sokolovi”, 4th Guards Brigade “Pauci”, at the local cemetery in Ploče and at the places of death of war veterans at Dračevac.
The Minister said that after 29 years, we remember with special reverence all the veterans, members of the 4th Brigade, the 112th Brigade of the ZNG and the police who were there to defend Zadar, as well as all those who gave their lives for freedom. Zadar and the Homeland.
On 6 October 1991 began a five-day attack on Zadar by rebel Serbs and the Yugoslav People’s Army. Thousands of shells hit 120 buildings. Twenty-three civilians were killed on the first day of the attacks.