Israeli F-16 Bombers
Israeli F-16 BombersIsrael News Photo: (file)

Two senior Israeli security sources told TIME Magazine that Israel’s attack on Sudan served as a warning to Iran and its adversaries. “The Americans were notified that Israel was going to conduct an air operation in Sudan, but they were not involved,” adding that only one raid was carried out with “dozens of aircraft.”

The sources revealed the details of Iranian attempts to bring long-range Fajr missiles into Gaza during Operation 'Cast Lead'. However, the sources denied earlier reports that U.S. aircraft were involved in the attack. Although the U.S. was informed by Israel beforehand, the U.S. did not take an offensive role in Israel’s operation in Sudan.

According to the report, Israeli F-16 fighter planes made two runs on the Iranian convoy while F-15 planes served as air cover to protect against a possible counter-attack during the 1,750 mile (2,800 km) journey to Sudan and back. The Israel Air Force refueled over the Red Sea in midair.

Israel was informed by an informant of a major delivery from Iran to Gaza via Sudan. The tip-off gave Israel less than a week to pull their plan together, according to a source. “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.

A “major power” bombed a convoy of weapons funded by Iran and headed for Hamas in Gaza last January, killing 39 people, a Sudanese minister announced last Wednesday. Israel has declined to comment on the report, but the government and the United States signed a “memo of understanding” at the conclusion of Operation 'Cast Lead', calling for action by the international community to stop the flow of weapons to Gaza.

Israeli officials previously have warned that an international network of terrorists is behind the supply of weapons from Iran to Hamas through Yemen and Sudan. The weapons include anti-tank missiles and explosives.

The Olmert administration ended the Operation 'Cast Lead' counterterrorist campaign again the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza in mid-January on condition that Western powers help stop the flow of weapons to Hamas.