In the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense, the role of Sudan in helping Iran ship weapons to Hamas is becoming clearer. There is now a full blown alliance between Iran, Sudan, and Hamas. Hamas leaders have publicly thanked Iran in recent days and Sudan’s Bashir has long been a friend of the Iranian Regime. None of this should be surprising. This was clear in March of 2009 when:
A delegation of senior Middle Eastern leaders has travelled to Sudan to express international support for Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, who is accused of war crimes in Darfur. Officials from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah joined Syria’s parliament speaker and the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group for talks with al-Bashir in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital.
Sudan is planning to relocate the Yarmouk Weapons Factory which was recently destroyed in what appears to have been an Israeli airstrike on October 24 to a place “outside of the capital.” Sudan continues to host Iranian weapons shipments from Iran destined to reach Gaza. The Times of Israel reports that
Israeli intelligence sources believe that a cargo, loaded a week ago in Bandar Abbas, Iran, would be shipped to Sudan and from there smuggled over land to Gaza. According to the report, the cargo may include Fajr-5 rockets of the likes already fired by Hamas during the recent conflict, and whose stocks were reportedly depleted by Israeli bombings. Also possibly included: components of Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, which could be stationed in Sudan and used as a direct threat to Israel.
In other words, Iran is planning on involving Sudan in the next conflict with Israel and firing missiles from Sudan at Israel.
“With a lot of effort, Iran has skillfully built a strategic arm pointing at Israel from the south,” an Israeli source was quoted as saying.
Not that sanity has regularly prevailed in the Middle East, but it would seem that this decision by Sudan runs the risk of promoting significant Israeli and American military involvement in Sudan and military cooperation with South Sudan. It functionally turns the Sudan Revolutionary Forces and the South Sudanese into full blown allies of Israel and America in their conflict with Iran, merging the conflicts into one larger one and escalating the strategic importance of events in Sudan well beyond the level of humanitarian concerns which are generally not highly prioritized.
It would seem highly likely at this point that future Israeli military action in Sudanese territory is a virtual certainty.
Many of you know that I recently helped to found an organization doing Sudan related advocacy called Help Nuba. If you are interested in learning more about what is going on in Sudan and in helping to prevent genocide there, please visit this link.