Iran's proxy war with Israel plays out in Sudan, security sources leak key details
The Yarmouk factory in Sudan
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Eight Israeli warplanes flew south along the Red Sea and crossed into Sudan from the east before striking the Yarmouk factory on the outskirts of Khartoum last week, according to an article published Sunday in the UK Sunday Times.
The article quoted several unnamed security sources who provided a play-by-play of last Wednesday’s attack in Sudan that killed two people and destroyed a factory allegedly used by Iran to store and transfer arms to Gaza.
Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the attack, which was widely interpreted as a warning to Iran over its nuclear program.
"This was a show of force but it was only a fraction of our capability – and of what the Iranians can expect in the countdown to the spring," the paper quoted an Israeli defense source as saying, referring to recent threats to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Iran reveals photographs taken over Israel
Details of the attack emerge as Iran on Monday revealed photographs of what it said were Israeli military bases and other restricted areas captured by a drone earlier this month.
The Ayoub drone was shot down by Israeli jets after originally bypassing the country’s radar and air defense system on October 7. Hezbollah said it launched the drone.
"These aircraft transmit their pictures online, and right now we possess pictures of restricted areas," Esmail Kowsari, chair of the Iranian parliament's defense committee, told Iran’s state news agency.
Tensions are building up between Iran and Israel with the latter threatening to use force to disable the Islamic state’s nuclear program. Iran blames Israel for sabotaging one of its facilities earlier this year, and for a string of assassinations targeting Iranian nuclear scientists.
Israel and the west accuse Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Iran, with the support of Russia, insist the program is being developed for peaceful purposes.
Last week’s attack on Sudan, which is roughly the same size and distance from Israel as Iran, demonstrates Israel’s far reaching capabilities to strike.
According to the Sunday Times account, the eight Israeli jets – four carrying one-ton bombs, and four escorts – took off from an airbase in southern Israel Tuesday night around 10pm.
They flew along the Red Sea to bypass Egypt’s air defense system. After flying south for 90 minutes, the jets were refuelled by a Boeing 707 tanker outside Sudanese airspace.
With their tanks full, the jets then raced towards the Yarmouk factory in Khartoum.
“At this stage a Gulfstream G550 filled with electronic warfare equipment began to jam the Sudanese air defense system and the radar at Khartoum airport,” the report said.
Sudanese fighter jets remained grounded throughout the attack.
The newspaper’s sources said the attack began being planned over two years ago when Mossad agents discovered a copy of a 2008 defense agreement between Iran and Sudan.
The agreement, found in a briefcase of a Hamas arms purchaser after the agents smothered him to death in his Dubai hotel room, allegedly stipulated that Iran would build arms in Sudan.
Should Sudan be used as a base for arms smuggling? What should the Arab world's response be to Israel's attack? Tell us what you think below.