5 August 2014

Sudan: Govt Taking Precautions Against Possible Israeli Strike - Spokesman

Khartoum — The Sudanese army (SAF) announced on Tuesday that it is taking full precautions against a possible military strike by Israel but said this is not related to a specific threat or information.

There were reports in Khartoum that Israeli officials claimed that rockets fired by the Islamic militant group of Hamas from the Gaza strip were manufactured in Sudan. As such they vowed a harsh response against Khartoum.

The spokesman of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Colonel al-Sawarmi Khaled Sa'ad described in a statement today reports of recent infiltration of Israeli planes to Sudanese airspace as rumors.

Col. Sa'ad said that they do not expect an Israeli airstrike adding that talk of threats by Tel Aviv to Sudan only appeared on blogs and non-official news portals.

He said that SAF "is checking the validity of the information and will not forsake the safety of the country".

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Arab reported last month that the Israeli air force carried out a surgical strike on a warehouse in Sudan housing long-range missiles destined for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

But Sudanese official said the explosion was caused by fire.

Last month Sudan's foreign minister Ali Karti vehemently denied that Sudan supplied Hamas with any kind of missiles.

"How can missiles which were claimed to be made in Sudan reach Hamas when there are 12,000 kilometers [distance between Sudan and Israel] controlled by Israeli and international satellites. The Egyptian army is also controlling every inch of the borders [between Sudan and Egypt], so how could these missiles be entered into Israel?" he wondered.

It is widely believed that Israel carried out at least two airstrikes in eastern Sudan against in 2009 and 2011 targets involved in arms smuggling. Sudan always reserved the right to respond in kind.

In October 2012, Sudanese government blamed an Israeli airstrike for the explosion of a military factory in the southern suburbs of Khartoum, but Tel Aviv maintained the usual silence in response to the charge.

Israel never denied nor confirmed carrying out attacks inside Sudan.

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