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Friday, March 27, 2009

US confirms Israeli strike in Sudan

The New York Times reports that 'American officials' have confirmed Thursday's report that Israeli warplanes struck and destroyed a Gaza-bound weapons convoy from Iran in Northern Sudan in January.
American officials said the airstrike took place as Israel sought to stop the flow of weapons to Gaza during the weeks it was fighting a war with Hamas there.

Two American officials who are privy to classified intelligence assessments said that Iran had been involved in the effort to smuggle weapons to Gaza. They also noted that there had been intelligence reports that an operative with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had gone to Sudan to coordinate the effort.

But one former official said that the exact provenance of the arms that were being smuggled via Sudan was unclear.


The area where the Sudanese said the attack occurred, near Port Sudan on the Red Sea, is an isolated patch of eastern Sudan near the Egyptian border and a notorious smuggling route, populated mostly by nomads and known as one of the poorest, least developed parts of a very poor, underdeveloped country.

The Sudanese said the reports emerged now because it took time to fully investigate the strike. But an accusation from one government official that the attack was an American act of genocide raised the possibility that the Sudanese were lashing out because the International Criminal Court had issued a warrant for the arrest of their president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, on war-crimes charges in the conflict in Darfur.

The official, Rabie A. Atti, a government spokesman, also gave a death toll in the attack that was higher than the 39 reported in other secondhand accounts. Mr. Rabie said by telephone from Khartoum, the capital, that “more than 100 people” had been killed in the air raid. He said the trucks that were bombed were not carrying weapons. “I’ve heard this allegation, but it’s not true,” he said. “It was a genocide, committed by U.S. forces.”

When asked how he knew the forces were American, Mr. Rabie said: “We don’t differentiate between the U.S. and Israel. They are all one.”
The Sudanese government explanation for why this took so long to come out is quite curious. Israel television reported last night that the Israeli airstrikes were kept under wraps by Sudan for the last two months because given the International Criminal Court indictment against Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the 'last thing' the Sudanese government needed was a story that implied that it was allowing weapons to be smuggled from Iran to Gaza through its territory. But as I noted on Thursday, weapons have been smuggled to Gaza via Sudan for years.

Here's another curious bit of information from the 'American officials.'
The American officials who described the Israeli role declined to be identified because they were discussing classified information and were not authorized to speak for the Obama administration. One American military official said the January strike was one of a series of Israeli attacks against arms shipments bound for Gaza.
Israel Radio reported this morning that there was an attack on a weapons ship off the Sudanese coast in recent months and that there were three or four strikes during January and February. The strike that was reported yesterday and confirmed by the New York Times today took place in January during Operation Cast Lead.


By the way, for those having trouble with the map, Port Sudan is in the most northeastern sector of the map, right along the Red Sea.


At 10:11 PM, Blogger L..M said...

israel is going far with war making . I just want to make an advise ;start as many wars as you will be able to handle it out without US.
By the way how many decades zionists are smuggling weapons from USA Britain ,France others .

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

if this attack on terrorist saved life and stop from missiles to heat israel and civilianes it should happend soon as possibale.thanx god that there r countries that doing all they can to prevent from heavy and dengourus weapons to get to the wrong hands.ask ur self why does terrorist hiding in a civiliens and uses them as human shield.god bless and save america and israel from those who want to harm them and who seek for blod and death


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