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Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:48AM

Based on what was largely “intelligence” derived from South Sudan, Israel launched air-to-ground missile strikes against convoys near Port Sudan, one in January 2009 that killed 43 people and destroyed 17 vehicles and the other the following month that killed 45 people and destroyed 14 vehicles. In 2011, there was another missile strike on a car near Port Sudan that reportedly killed a Hamas official."
The recent air attack on the Yarmouk munitions plant outside Khartoum bears all the hallmarks of an Israeli military operation against a sovereign nation. At least four Israeli Air Force F-151 bombers took off from Israel for a 1200-mile flight to Khartoum. Because the entire operation entailed a 2400-mile roundtrip flight, the bombers required in-flight refueling over the Red Sea from an Israeli KC-135 tanker aircraft, a modified Boeing 707. At least one Israeli electronic-countermeasure aircraft, reportedly a specially-outfitted Gulfstream, flew with the bombers to jam radar systems in Egypt and in Sudan, particularly those systems that engage defensive surface-to-air missiles in and around Khartoum. Israeli search and rescue aircraft were deployed over the Red Sea to assist any downed Israeli crews. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied it attacked Sudan. However, a series of reports from media closely connected to Israel and its lobby broad suggest Israel was striking the Sudanese plant because it believed it was a source for arms shipments to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. At least two Sudanese civilians were killed in the Israeli attack and Sudan called on the UN Security Council to condemn Israel’s aggression, which was yet another in a long history of violations of the UN Charter by the Jewish state. Although the Sudanese paper Al-Intiba reported that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director David Petraeus personally phoned deputy Sudanese intelligence chief Saleh A-Tayeb to assure him that the United States was not involved in any manner with the attack on Khartoum, the history of such deep penetration Israeli military operations in Africa suggest that Israel had some local accomplices, perhaps South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, or even Libya, a country with which Israel is seeking a closer relationship. There is also the real possibility that Israel used ground intelligence assets of Sudanese rebel movements like the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which believe that the Yarmouk facility is the source for weapons and ammunition used against their ranks in South Kordofan, Darfur, and eastern Sudan. Sudan, like Syria, is considered a military ally of Iran. With Syria already beset by a NATO and Israeli-supported rebellion that includes radicals affiliated with Salafist circles in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf potentates, it serves Israel’s interests to also increase Arab-on-Arab violence in Sudan. A number of Israeli military and intelligence officials have often stated openly that when Arabs kill other Arabs and Muslims kill other Muslims, Israel thrives and prospers. Just after the Israeli attack on Yarmouk, Sudanese rebels launched an attack on the Al-Fasher military air base in Sudan. A January 22, 2009, State Department cable sent from the Secretary of State to U.S. embassies in Abu Dhabi, Khartoum, Muscat, Riyadh, and Sanaa, warned against Iranian shipments of arms to Hamas in Gaza. The Secret cable, conveniently leaked by WikiLeaks in what was not the only incident in which WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange aided and abetted Israeli and U.S. military operations in the Middle East, warned that the U.S. had “information” that Iran was involved in flying arms to Sudan. But the cable also mentioned that then-Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor stated he was concerned about the flights. Alor was a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement of South Sudan and is now a vice president of the breakaway country. In other words, the State Department cable Israel used a justification for attacking Khartoum was largely based on sketchy information from South Sudan, with which Israel has a close relationship. Based on what was largely “intelligence” derived from South Sudan, Israel launched air-to-ground missile strikes against convoys near Port Sudan, one in January 2009 that killed 43 people and destroyed 17 vehicles and the other the following month that killed 45 people and destroyed 14 vehicles. In 2011, there was another missile strike on a car near Port Sudan that reportedly killed a Hamas official. If any intelligence used to justify an Israeli attacked were “actionable,” it would have been much more highly classified than Secret. Intelligence based on bona fide intelligence “sources and methods” that is used to justify any sort of military, intelligence, or severe diplomatic action is normally classified as “SCI” or “Sensitive Compartmented Information.” Considering the over-classification of U.S. government information these days, the “rumors” and “hearsay” passed to U.S. embassies on Iranian flights to Sudan would, at one time, been classified Confidential or “For Official Use Only.” Military action would have never been decided upon based on such weak information. But Israel, which never needs an excuse for an out-of-area military operation, as witnessed by its past military adventures in Tunisia, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and Kenya, will attack based on the flimsiest of reasons. And that tendency will become more commonplace now that Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud has struck a unity agreement with the Yisrael Beteinu Party of bellicose and racist former Moldovan nightclub bouncer, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. WM/JR
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