Iran says three Arab countries let Israel use their air space to strike in Sudan

Tehran’s foreign minister says countries were told in advance of last month’s attack on Khartoum munitions factory

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Ali Akbar Salehi (photo credit: CC-BY Parmida76, Flickr)
Ali Akbar Salehi (photo credit: CC-BY Parmida76, Flickr)

Three Arab countries allowed Israeli jets to fly through their airspace prior to attacking a military factory last month near Khartoum, Sudan, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi charged on Monday.

Arab countries “knew about the Israeli operation before it was carried out,” Salehi told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Watan. “The planes flew over three countries I won’t name,” he said.

A direct route from Israel to Sudan would not necessarily require overflying three countries, but rather could solely involve Egypt. An attack from the east, which Sudan said is what happened, might involve a route including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Eritrea.

The alleged October 24 attack in Sudan resulted in the destruction of the Yarmouk Complex, and the Sudanese Minister of Information Ahmed Belal Osman blamed Israel for the strike. Israel made no public comment.

Belal said “four planes coming from the east” that “used sophisticated technology” carried out an airstrike on the munitions plant. “We think Israel did the bombing.”

Sudan has threatened to retaliate against Israeli interests.

Some analysts believe the operation may have been a dry run before a possible Israeli strike on Iran — an operation that would require flights of a similar range. Others have said that, if Israel was involved, it was a message to Sudan’s genocidal leader Omar al-Bashir and to Gaza’s terror groups, as well as to Iran.

Salehi, referring to the much-debated notion of Jerusalem ordering a strike against his country’s nuclear facilities, said, “If Israel wanted to attack Iran it would do so without making so much noise” about the plan.

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