Israel ‘behind Sudan raids’
Posted by musliminsuffer on April 2, 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
Israel ‘behind Sudan raids’
6 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Israeli fighter-bombers were behind a mid-January air strike in the Sudanese desert against suspected Gaza-bound arms convoys, Time magazine reported citing two top Israeli security sources.
Time reported Monday that the attack on a 23-truck convoy was intended as a warning to Iran and other foes, demonstrating Israel’s willingness to act upon its intelligence and strike beyond its borders.
The convoy contained Iranian rockets and explosives headed for Egypt’s border to reach the Gaza Strip during Israel’s three-week onslaught on the tiny coastal enclave that left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead, Time said on its online edition.
US aircraft were not involved.
“The Americans were notified that Israel was going to conduct an air operation in Sudan, but they were not involved,” a source told Time.
“There was only one raid, and it was a major operation,” he said, denying earlier media reports that a ship and a second convoy were involved.
“Dozens of aircraft” were deployed for the Israeli attack, the source said.
According to Time magazine, F-16 fighter-bombers conducted two runs on the convoy, while F-15 fighter planes circled above as a precautionary measure against hostile aircraft.
“This was the first time that the Iranians had tried to send Hamas a shipment this big via Sudan — and it is probably the last,” a source said, claiming that several Iranians, as well as Sudanese smugglers and drivers were killed in the raid.
“No doubt the Iranians are checking back to see who might have leaked this to the Israelis.”
In early January, during the peak of fighting in Gaza, Israel’s Mossad spy agency was tipped off by an informant that Iran was planning to deliver 109 tonnes of arms and explosives to the enclave, according to Time.
The explosives included anti-tank rockets and Fajir rockets with a 25-mile (40-kilometer) range and a 99-pound (45-kilogram) warhead.
The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, has denied that the alleged weapons convoys were destined for the group.
“First of all we are not sure any convoy has been hit, but it is ironic to link these convoys to Hamas,” one of the movement’s leaders, Salah al-Bardawil, told AFP on Friday.
“Should it turn out that there were raids and a high number of people killed, this would mean Israel is seeking to use the opportunity to blame Hamas and hit Sudan.”
The fact that the Gaza Strip is not a neighbor of Sudan, with Egypt in between, “shows these are false claims,” he added.
Israel has refused to either confirm or deny that it was behind the attack in Sudan, but Defence Minister Ehud Barak became the last high-ranking official to hint at involvement on Tuesday.
“In the battles that we wage, we don’t have the privilege of being able to speak too much. One has to do what is necessary and stay quiet,” he told army radio.
When the news of the attack first broke on March 26, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said “we operate in many places near and far, and carry out strikes in a manner that strengthens our deterrence.
“We operate anywhere we can target terror infrastructure. There is no point in going into details, anyone can use his imagination.”
Copyright © 2009 AFP.
:: Article nr. 53030 sent on 31-mar-2009 17:26 ECT
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