Sudan Defense Minister Unlikely to Face Backlash Over Alleged Israeli Attack - Official

Photo: Amnesty International
Mi-7 military helicopter (file photo): A similar explosion occurred at the same factory in August 2006 .

Khartoum — Sudan Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein is unlikely to be sacked over the alleged Israeli attack on Al-Yarmouk military factory, an official said on Sunday amid growing demands that he walks the plank for failing to protect the country.

According to the speaker of the parliament, Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, there is no intention to relieve Hussein from his position or hold him accountable for the occurrence of the attack.

The speaker told reporters that the Israeli fighter jets that allegedly destroyed the factory in the southern suburb of the capital Khartoum late on 25 October came without a "prior declaration of confrontation".

Al-Tahir also justified the lack of intention to punish Hussein by saying that Sudan is not able to have the same level of technology that Israel possesses.

The official was responding to growing calls in the last few days to sack Hussein given the fact that the attack on Al-Yarmouk is allegedly the third Israeli attack inside Sudanese territories.

Hussein has not made a single comment since the attack on Al-Yarmouk happened. This is not the first time that some people called for his resignation but others suggest that his close relationship with President Al-Bashir always shielded him from being held accountable.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the attack on Al-Yarmouk but it is widely believed that the Jewish state already struck twice inside Sudan.

In early 2009, it was reported that Israeli jet fighters carried out an unknown number of strikes in Eastern Sudan against a convoy of arms-smuggling vehicles allegedly headed to the Gaza strip which is controlled by the Islamist militant group Hamas. Two years later, in April 2011, Israel destroyed a vehicle killing two men on board in the eastern town of Port Sudan.

Israel sees the Muslim east African country as an ally of its arch enemy Iran as well as a conduit for arms smuggling activities toward the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the attack continues to reverberate both domestically and abroad as emerging details confirm that a hostile action was behind the destruction of the factory.

Satellite images released on Saturday by the US-based monitoring group, the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), suggested that the factory was indeed hit in an airstrike.

SSP's spokesperson Jonathan Hutson told the AP that the craters created by the strike are "consistent with large impact craters created by air-delivered munitions"

Sudan Foreign Minister Ali Karti was quoted on Sunday by the country's official news agency SUNA that his country has started diplomatic efforts to inform friendly countries and regional and international organizations about the details of the attack.

Karti confirmed that Sudan intends to lodge a complaint with the UN Security Council (UNSC) against Israel but he added that Khartoum was certain that the US would veto the demarche.

"The US veto will protect Israel but it will eventually find itself in isolation because all international and regional opinions are going against this outrageous aggression."

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