November 28, 1955|
Srbica, Drenica, Yugoslavia
|Died||March 7, 1998(aged 42)|
|Allegiance||Kosovo Liberation Army|
|Years of service||1991-1998|
|Commands held||Kosovo Liberation Army|
Attack on Prekaz
Adem Jashari (Serbo-Croatian: Adem Jašari, Адем Јашари; 28 November 1955 – 7 March 1998) is considered to be one of the chief architects of the Kosovo Liberation Army, along with Zahir Pajaziti. Jashari was a chief commander in the Drenica operation zone of the KLA.
In July 1997 a Yugoslav court had convicted him in absentia of terrorist actions in a trial condemned by international human rights groups. He was killed in March 1998, along with most of his extended family, when Yugoslav security forces laid siege to his home in Prekaz.
Jashari was born in Donji Prekaz, in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1991, Jashari moved to Albania to train with the first volunteers who later joined in Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). On 28 February 1998 a group of KLA fighters led by Adem Jashari were attacked by Serbian police patrols killing four policemen and injuring two. In the attack sixteen KLA members were killed, and around fifty ethnic Albanian civilians, including women and children. The first battle between Jashari and his friends against federal forces took place on the morning of 30 December 1991. Jashari's house was surrounded by a large number of security personnel demanding his surrender. They broke the siege and later participated in several actions against the Yugoslav Army and police.
On 28 February 1998, state forces attacked some families in Drenica who they thought had connections to Jashari; 17 were killed. Then, in the early morning hours of 5 March 1998, the village of Prekaz was attacked again by the large forces of Yugoslav national army and police. A second ring of troops was formed to prevent any possible escape. The attacking force consisted of armored personnel carriers and policemen, backed up by artillery from a nearby ammunition factory. Many villagers were killed; some were killed execution-style.
Police forces first asked Jashari to come out and give himself up, then gave him a 2 hour deadline to consider the offer. After time ran out, shootings started. In one of the houses, the police fired mortars, followed by tear gas. Most of Jashari's extended family gathered in a single room, which had a brick wall. The shelling continued for another thirty-six hours before the police finally entered the compound. Adem Jashari together with fifty-two of his family members were killed, some of them burned beyond recognition.
Jashari became a symbol of independence for Kosovar Albanians, as many have been known to wear t-shirts with his picture after Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008. The t-shirts are known to say "Bac, U Kry!", which roughly translates to 'Uncle, It's done!" in English. The family home was converted to a shrine, and the anniversary of his death is marked by the Epopee of the Kosovo Liberation Army. The title "Hero of Kosovo" was awarded to him in 2008 by the Prime Minister of Kosovo.
Nevertheless, Jashari's attacks and rebellion was sometimes associated with behavior of Drenica kaçaks from the past:
In one village, Donji Prekaz, lived a local tough called Adem Jashari. Several years before he had killed a Serbian policeman and been convicted, but the Serbs were frightened to get him because he would shoot at them from his house. They had tried in January but were forced to retreat. Jashari was a maverick. He hated the Serbs, and although he was one of the KLA’s early recruits, he was no ideological guerrilla. In the words of one source: “He liked to get drunk and go out and shoot Serbs.” In this sense he was a true, dyed in the wool, Drenica kaçak.
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 101 out of 193 United Nations member states.|
- Humanitarian law violations in Kosovo By Fred Abrahams, Elizabeth Andersen, Human Rights Watch, p. 32
- Pettifer, p. 144
- Judah, p.[page needed]
- BBC News: Kosovo killings: Belgrade's official version of events
- Judah. The Serbs. Yale University Press. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-300-15826-7.
- Krieger, Heike. The Kosovo conflict and international law: an analytical documentation 1974-1999. University of Göttingen. p. 96. ISBN 9780521800716.
- Krieger, Heike. The Kosovo Conflict and International Law: An Analytical Documentation 1974-1999. p. 96.
- Beaumont, Peter (February 17, 2008). "Joy and defiance on Kosovo's greatest day". London: The Guardian. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Adem Jashari|
- Article about Adem Jashari - Gazeta Wyborcza (Polish)