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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Israel hit Fajr-3 rockets in Sudan

The more details that leak about the Israeli airstrikes in the Sudan, the more impressive it appears.

The Sunday Times reports that Israel used unmanned drones and UAVs to perform the strike:
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) attacked two convoys, killing at least 50 smugglers and their Iranian escorts. All the lorries carrying the long-range rockets were destroyed. Had the rockets been delivered to Hamas, the militant Islamic group that controls Gaza, they would have dramatically raised the stakes in the conflict, enabling Palestinians to wreak terror on Tel Aviv.

The raids were carried out by Hermes 450 drones. One source claimed they were accompanied by giant Eitan UAVs, which have a 110ft wingspan, similar to that of a Boeing 737. The drones, controlled via satellite, can hover over a target for 24 hours.

According to sources, the convoys were carrying Fajr3 rockets, which have a range of more than 40 miles, and were split into sections so they could be smuggled through tunnels into Gaza from Egypt. “They built the Fajr in parts so it would be easy to smuggle them into Gaza, then reassemble them with Hamas experts who learnt the job in Syria and Iran,” said a source.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards masterminded the smuggling operation. “The Iranians arrived in Port Sudan and liaised with local smugglers,” said a source. The convoy was heading for the Egyptian border where, for a fat fee, local smugglers would take over.

More details (via Ha'aretz):

The Israel Air Force carried out three air strikes in Sudan, not two, according to a report yesterday by ABC News. The TV network report said the attacks were carried out during the latter part of January and in February, targeting arms shipments from Iran destined for the Gaza Strip.

The ABC report, which was based on U.S. officials, reiterated earlier reports that the first air strike had targeted a convoy of trucks carrying arms, while the second sunk a ship. No details were given about the target of the third strike, which was probably another convoy of trucks.

The report of the American news network was also based on statements by Sudanese officials, who confirm that Israel had sunk a ship carrying arms.
Note that this all happened after the Gaza operation was finished.

If Hamas had hit Tel Aviv with rockets, Israel's response would have dwarfed that of Operation Cast Lead. Many more civilians would have been accidentally killed. So all of the world's "peace activists" must be thrilled that Israel's pre-emptive strike was so successful, right?

By the way, the Sudan is roughly the same distance to Israel as Iran. Just sayin'.