President Barack Obama is expected to soon make a decision on whether to launch a military strike on Syria — and although there are many differences between this conflict and the war in Bosnia, for some Bosnian New Yorkers it has brought back memories of a time when they waited for the U.S. to intervene in their country.
In the first half of the 1990s, Bosnia and Herzegovina was embroiled in a bloody, ethnic conflict. Bosnian Serbs laid the capital city, Sarajevo, to siege in 1992. Dozens of people, primarily Bosnian Muslims, were killed and wounded each day for more than three years.
“The world was being particularly cold-hearted and insensitive and then hypocritical, stating they empathized with our problems,” said Damir Huremovic, who lived in Sarajevo at the time.
He now works as a psychiatrist on Long Island now and has been closely following the news from Syria. Huremovic says he favors a limited air strike, seeing the situation in Syria as more complex than in Bosnia, where a sustained NATO air bombing helped bring the war to an end in 1995.
Another New Yorker, Ivana Krizanic, says she hopes the U.S. takes lessons from Bosnia.
“U.S. together with the U.N. would hopefully realize that basically doing something quickly is long-term much better that doing nothing because at the end they would need to do something,” she said.
She watched the war unfold in Bosnia from Austria, where she was a refugee and studied. Krizanic says she'd like the intervention to happen in Syria much faster than it did in Bosnia.
Experts say it remains unclear whether U.S. intervention would help bring this conflict to an end.