Today a military factory in Sudan's capital was destroyed by what appears to have been an air strike. The Sudanese government has blamed Israel. Did Israel carry out such a strike?
"We operate everywhere we can hit terrorist infrastructure - in nearby places, in places further away, anywhere we can strike them in a way that increases deterrence. Everyone can use their imagination. Those who need to know, know there is no place where Israel cannot operate. Such a place doesn't exist."
That was former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at a press conference in Herzliya back in early 2009. Around the time of the Israeli military's Cast Lead operation in Gaza the question had been raised as to whether or not the Israeli Air Force had launched air strikes against Sudan. During January and February of that year two alleged air strikes were carried out on Sudanese territory. The alleged target of these strikes, Iranian originated arms being covertly transferred via convoy through Sudan en route to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (Ynet News, March 27, 2009)
The strike against the convoy of 23 trucks in the Sudanese desert was carried out by Israeli fighter-bombers working alongside unmanned aerial vehicles. Allegations that a ship was also sunk in such a raid have been denied. Nevertheless, "a major operation" involving "dozens of aircraft" is said to have transpired. This operation saw Israeli Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter-bombers execute two bombing runs on the convoy whilst their F-15 Eagle fighter escorts patrolled the area, ready and waiting to take on any Sudanese interceptors. They were able to operate in such a manner that far from home thanks to tanker aircraft operating over the Red Sea. Naval vessels and helicopters were also reportedly operating nearby in case any of the pilots needed to be rescued if something went wrong. (TIME, March 30, 2009)
The convoy the Israeli jets struck was said to have been carrying anti-tank rockets and Iranian made Fajir rockets capable of striking targets 25 miles away from their launch sites. That operation aptly demonstrates Israel's ability to be able to through intelligence gathering identify manifesting threats far away from its home front, and, in accordance with such intelligence, act within a relatively short space of time to assemble the necessary strike elements in order to effectively eliminate the perceived threat.
Which is one reason Israel could have carried out the air strike that struck an arms factory in Khartoum on October 24 this month. The explosion at the factory in the Sudanese capital was carried out by four Israeli planes according to claims made by the Sudanese governments 'Culture and Information Minister' Ahmed Bilal Osman. As was the case with the arms convoy in 2009 and another air strike on a car in Port Sudan in April of last year Israel has yet to make any comment. (BBC News, October 24, 2012)
The Israelis allegedly carried out such a strike with aircraft that Osman says "appeared to come from the east." Which means such Israeli strike aircraft could have been operating in conjunction with intelligence gathering UAV's as well as with aerial tankers over the Red Sea, as was the case with the aforementioned strike back in 2009.
Mr. Osman claimed that the targeted facility, the Yarmouk plant, made what he referred to as "traditional weapons." What motive Israel would have for striking this plant is questionable. However they are, as we know, well capable of carrying out such a strike with deadly accuracy and efficiency.
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