Report: U.S. Warned Sudan Before Attack on Gaza Convoy

Al-Sharq al-Awsat: U.S. informed Sudan gov't that arms were being smuggled to Gaza through its territory.

The U.S. warned the Sudanese government that weapons were being smuggled into the Gaza Strip through its territory ahead of a recent attack on a Gaza-bound arms convoy, which foreign media has attributed to the Israel Air Force, the pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Monday.

On Friday, the American network ABC reported that the IAF had targeted a convoy of trucks in Sudan carrying Iranian weapons to Gaza in January. According to the report, 39 people riding in 17 trucks were killed, and civilians in the area sustained injuries. The network later reported that the IAF had carried out three such strikes since the beginning of the year.

According to the report in Al-Sharq al-Awsat, which quotes reliable sources, a senior American official transferred a message to a Sudanese government official and asked him to make sure that the message makes its way to Sudan's leaders in Khartoum so that immediate steps can be taken to put a stop to the smuggling of weapons. The sources said that the Sudanese security establishment declared that the issue would be investigated, shortly before the first attack.

In light of the fact that the attacks occurred in such close proximity to the American warning, Sudanese officials initially assumed that it was the U.S. that was behind the bombings. However, when the U.S. denied involvement, the accusations were pointed at Israel, which has yet to confirm or deny the reports.

On Friday, the spokesman for the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said that Sudan was investigating the attacks and collecting evidence at the scene, but will not respond until the investigation is complete.

He added that the convoys were likely smuggling goods, but not weapons.