Powered by WebAds

Thursday, March 26, 2009

CBS News: IAF hit weapons trucks in Sudan

CBS News is reporting that the IAF destroyed a convoy of 17 weapons trucks making their way from Sudan to the Gaza Strip via Egypt during the middle of Operation Cast Lead. The report is based on a report from a Sudanese web site. According to the report, 39 people were killed in the strike; according to Israel Radio, those killed including nationals of Ethiopia, Eriteria and Sudan. Both Israel and the United States have declined comment on the report.
CBS News national security correspondent David Martin has been told that Israeli aircraft carried out the attack. Israeli intelligence is said to have discovered that weapons were being trucked through Sudan, heading north toward Egypt, whereupon they would cross the Sinai Desert and be smuggled into Hamas-held territory in Gaza.

In January, the U.S. signed an agreement with Israel that calls for an international effort to stop arms smuggling into Gaza. Hamas was showering rockets on Israeli towns, and Israel had responded by invading Gaza. More than 1,000 Palestinians were reportedly killed in the December-January war, and 13 Israelis lost their lives.

In the airstrike in Sudan – said to have been "in a desert area northwest of Port Sudan city, near Mount al-Sha’anoon," according to SudanTribune.com – 39 people riding in 17 trucks were reportedly killed.
Israel Radio implied this morning that the agreement that was signed with the US (and later other countries) to prevent weapons smuggling was signed after - and at least partly as a result of - the IAF strike in Sudan.

The CBS report is largely based on a report in the Sudan Tribune. The Sudanese report initially attributed the airstrike to the United States, but they have since noted that CBS attributed the strike to Israel and they have done so as well. The earlier report has more details of the airstrike.
The attack is believed to have occurred in a desert area in Northwest of Port Sudan city, near the Mount Al-Sha’anoon.

The newspaper quoted an unidentified Egyptian official as saying that the planes that carried out the attack were based out of many regional countries, suggesting that it is likely to be Djibouti.

The official said that the airstrike caused an “embarrassment” to Khartoum which viewed it as a “violation to its sovereignty” and discussed the matter with Cairo in an effort to gather more information to formulate a response.

Al-Shurooq also said that Sudanese authorities conducted “a full blown dossier” on the attack containing images, forensics and remains of weapons and satellite phones.

The rockets fired by US gunships left 18-hole diameters ranging between 160 and 430 meters, the newspaper reported.
And maybe the planes just flew low over the Red Sea....

In November 2006, I reported that weapons were being smuggled to the 'Palestinians' in Gaza from Sudan via Egypt with Egyptian cooperation. My report was based on a report that appeared in Middle East Newsline.
Israel has determined that Iranian-financed weapons to the Palestinian Authority flow through a port in Egypt.

Israeli officials said many of the weapons ordered by the Hamas-led PA and aligned insurgency groups stem from Sudan's Darfour region. They said the weapons were transported by land and then shipped through the Mediterranean to ports in Egypt.


"The weapons to the Palestinians are brought in through Egyptian ports and El Arish and are imported by land from Sudan," Yuval Steinitz, the deputy chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said. "Those latter imports have to traverse Egypt on their way to Gaza. There is no way that the Egyptian government is not colluding with the weapons shippers."

In a series of interviews in the Israeli media, Steinitz, the former chairman of the Knesset committee, asserted that Egypt has supported the massive smuggling of weapons to the Gaza Strip. Steinitz said Egypt regards Hamas and other Palestinian insurgency groups as a key asset in the Arab confrontation against Israel.
It took long enough, but the Israeli government finally decided to do something about it.

I hope this isn't lost on the Iranians.



I probably should qualify that last comment on the Iranians. It was not really directed at the possibility of Israel taking out their nuclear plants (obviously, a much more complicated operation), but at the possibility of Israel hitting Russian S-300 missile defense systems before they ever get to Iran and get installed. To take out a weapons convoy, you have to know it's on the way. Israel appears to have the intelligence sources to do that.


Israel Radio reported in its 2:00 newscast that the only Sudanese government minister who discussed this incident is claiming that 800 people were killed in two waves of strikes in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. I have my doubts.

Something else I forgot to mention this morning. You know all those Sudanese refugees we took in that the Egyptians were trying to kill? I'll bet they were of assistance in this one.


It was Sudan's defense minister who claimed this afternoon that 800 people had been killed. He made the claim in an interview with al-Jazeera (where else?) along with a claim that the convoy of trucks was carrying people and not weapons.

Israel Radio's 6:00 newscast reported that the Sudanese government has now issued a statement confirming CBS's original account that the trucks were carrying weapons and that the 39 people (not 800) in the trucks were killed. Of course, in the Arab world, the al-Jazeera report has undoubtedly been enshrined as gospel so that we will hear complaints about how we killed 800 'more civilians.'


Welcome Power Line readers. There's an important update to this story here.


At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:32 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

If the IAF can conduct operations that far away, it should have no problem teaching Natanz.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I believe Natanz is further. See my update comment.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Randy Furco said...

Good hit

At 1:27 PM, Blogger SC&A said...

Great heads up.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Broadsword said...

Hmmm...I note the Sudan Tribune left off that of the "39 killed", 47 of them were children and 112 were women. Heh.


Post a Comment

<< Home