Time magazine features an in-depth report on the apparent Israeli attack on an Iranian arms convoy in Sudan several weeks ago. It was planned and executed within a week.
The report states that the Israeli attack force included dozens of fighter-bombers and unmanned drones, which bombed, in two separate raids, a 23-truck convoy in the Sudanese desert carrying powerful weapons to Hamas terrorists. The incident occurred this past January.
The Time report claims to be based on “two highly-placed Israeli security sources.”
Warning to Iran
“The attack was a warning to Iran and other adversaries,” Time stated, “showing Israel's intelligence capability and its willingness to mount operations far beyond its borders in order to defend itself from gathering threats.”
The convoy was apparently transporting Iranian rockets and explosives destined for Gaza, where Israel was waging its anti-terrorist Operation Cast Lead at the time.
Time reported that F-16 fighter-bombers carried out two runs on the convoy, with fighter planes circling overhead for protection against the arrival of hostile aircraft. After the first bombing wave, high-resolution drone-mounted cameras showed that the convoy was only partially damaged, and so a second F-16 pass was carried out.
Mossad Learned of the Shipment
Other details compiled by Time: An informant notified the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence agency, that Iran was planning a major delivery of 120 tons of arms and explosives to Gaza, including anti-tank rockets and Fajir rockets with a 25-mile range and a 45-kg. warhead. The Iranians sent the arms shipment to Port Sudan, from where it was to be convoyed through Egypt's southern border and northwards into the Sinai. Hamas was then to take charge of the weapons and smuggle them into Gaza through the tunnels it regularly uses for the smuggling of explosive, weapons, and the like.
Israel had less than a week to formulate, receive approval and execute the plan to ensure that the weapons and explosives not reach Gaza. Only 13 Israelis were killed during the war, including 10 soldiers, but the casualties could have been much higher had Hamas received these weapons.
U.S. Not InvolvedIsrael has not admitted to carrying out the raid, but ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a few days ago, “We operate in many places, near and far, and we carry out strikes in a manner that strengthens our deterrence."
Northern Sudan is 1,400 kilometers south of Israel, in Africa, and the Israeli aircraft refueled in midair over the Red Sea. The U.S. was not involved in the attack, according to the sources, though it had been notified of the Israeli plans in advance. Several Iranians were reportedly killed in the raid, along with Sudanese smugglers and drivers.