- Sudan-Iran links under scrutiny after arms factory blast
- Target in Sudan: Arms shipment
- Pentagon: Iran improving missiles to target vessels
British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that Israeli spy satellites have recognized a cargo ship, docked at an Iranian port, being loaded with missiles presumably bound for the Gaza Strip.
According to the report, a cargo ship docked at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas was being loaded with rockets and other weapons and munitions. According to analysts, the shipment is in all likelihood heading for Gaza through the Red Sea, Sudan and then Egypt (which shares a border with Gaza).
Archive: Massive fire at Sudan 'arms factory' (Photo: Reuters)
The cargo, it seems, was prepared approximately one week ago, around the same time the ceasefire agreement to bring to Operation Pillar of Defense to an end was being decided on.
Israeli intelligence sources believe the weapons-laden cargo ship will pass through the well established Iranian weapons smuggling route to Gaza, through Sudan and the Red Sea. Sources told the British newspaper that they believe Iranian ships stationed in Eritrea will escort the ship from the moment it enters the Red Sea. "Regardless of the ceasefire agreement, we will attack and destroy any shipment of arms to Gaza once we have spotted it," an Israeli defense source said.
It appears that the ship's cargo includes Fajr-5 missiles, which terrorist groups have already fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during Operation Pillar of Defense, and possibly Shahab-3 missiles, which can hit deep in Israeli territory.
In Sudan, according to assessment, the Fajr-5 missiles are broken down to four or five parts so they can be conveniently smuggled to Sinai and then brought into Gaza through tunnels.
Last month, Sudan claimed Israeli fighter planes had bombed a munitions factory in Khartoum, where it was argued Iran is building long range missiles. According to reports, Israel estimates that an alternative factory is already in the process of being built. According to an Israeli source, with much effort Iran has formed a strategic foothold in Sudan capable of threatening Israel from the south.