Israeli airstrikes caused an explosion and large fire at a military factory south of the capital, Khartoum, killing two people, Sudan’s government spokesman claimed Wednesday.
Minister of Information Ahmed Belal Osman told reporters that four aircraft struck the Yarmouk Complex, causing an explosion that rocked the capital just before dawn.
“Four planes coming from the east bombed the Yarmouk industrial complex,” Belal said. “They used sophisticated technology.” He didn’t elaborate further.
“We think Israel did the bombing,” Belal charged. “We reserve the right to react at a place and time we choose,” and may take the issue to the UN Security Council, he told reporters.
The Yarmouk facility — which some reports said makes ammunition for Iran — is located approximately 1,900 kilometers from Israeli territory, approximately the same distance from Israel as Iran, Channel 2 pundit Ehud Ya’ari noted.
The implication was that as well as a blow to Sudan and Iran in terms of lost ammunition, were this an Israeli strike it would serve as a warning to Iran of the capacity to strike over such a range. From Israel, the distance to Yarmouk is further than to certain key Iranian nuclear facilities.
The Israeli military and Foreign Ministry refused to comment.
The Sudanese minister further claimed that “evidence pointing to Israel was found among remnants of the explosives,” AFP reported.
Belal also referred to a 2009 attack on an arms convoy in the Red Sea province in eastern Sudan, which his government also blamed on Israel.
“We are now certain that this flagrant attack was authorized by the same state of Israel. The main purpose is to frustrate our military capabilities and stop any development there and ultimately weaken our national sovereignty,” Belal said.
In 2009, a convoy carrying weapons in northeastern Sudan was targeted from the air, killing dozens. It was widely believed that Israel carried out the attack, hitting a weapons shipment headed for Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Israel never confirmed or denied that. Sudanese parliamentarians denied that weapons were being transported in the area.
Khartoum also accused Israel in 2011 of carrying out a missile strike against an Islamist arms supplier who was reportedly providing Hamas with weapons. Two people were killed in the explosion near Port Sudan.
The Yarmouk weapons complex was built in the 1996. Sudan prided itself in having a way to produce its own ammunition and weapons despite international sanctions.
Yarmouk is one of two known state-owned weapons manufacturing facilities in the Sudanese capital.
Jonah Leff of the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey told The Associated Press that the location of the two factories is “certainly a hazard” to Khartoum’s population if the weapons inside are not properly maintained or secured.
A September report from the Small Arms Survey said there was evidence from weapons packaging found in Darfur and in South Kordofan that arms and ammunition from China are exported to Yarmouk and then transported to the two embattled regions.
Leff said that although the Small Arms Survey has documented Sudanese military stocks of Iranian weapons and ammunition, there is no evidence that Iranian weapons are being assembled or manufactured in the two Khartoum factories.
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