Iran dispatches warships to Sudan after Israeli airstrike on missile base

Iran risked Israeli military retaliation Monday with the dispatch of a naval task force to Sudan just days after a widely reported airstrike by the Jewish state against a missile base run by Tehran in Khartoum.

Sudanese state media said that a docking ceremony was staged in Port Sudan to receive
the convoy led by an Iranian naval frigate and corvette warship.

Commanders of the Iranian flotilla reportedly met Sudanese navy chiefs as a gesture of “peace and friendship”.

But Israel sees the increasingly close military links between Iran and Sudan as a credible threat. It fears Iran is building missiles to supply Hizbollah and the Syrian regime.

Israeli media has said that a long-range bombing run by eight F15 bombers hit a missile base staffed by Iranian engineers at the Yarmouk military plant.

Sudan has complained to the United Nations that Israel bombed the factory.

Iran claims to have harvested images of “sensitive” Israeli military sites and other potential missile targets form a drone shot down after it was launched from Lebanon by Hizbollah

Ismael Kowsari, a Iranian MP, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that images from the drone were broadcast back to Hizbollah operators before the Israeli military shot it out of the sky earlier this month.

“These drones transmit the pictures online,” Mr Kowsari said. “The pictures of forbidden sites taken and transmitted by this drone are now in our possession.”

Mehr has close links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is in overall charge of Iran’s relationship with Hizbollah, the Shiite group whose militant terror arm is equipped with missiles, rockets and other arms by Tehran.

An Israeli investigation into the mystery craft, which was reported to have crossed deep into its territory, has not yet reached any conclusions. However military officials have briefed that they did not believe it was equipped with a camera. “I don’t think there was a camera,” a senior officers in the northern command said.

The Hizbollah leadership has boasted that it assembled the drone in southern Lebanon from components produced by its Iranian paymasters. It has warned that it is prepared to send more drones into its southern neighbour despite a warning from Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, that it is risking Lebanese security by doing so.

Ahmed Vahid, the Iranian defence minister, has taken credit for the Hizbollah drone in recent days. Mr Vahid said while the Ayub drone was not the “latest Iranian technology,” its sophistication had “amazed” Israeli defence strategists.

Mr Kowsari, who is a former commander of the IRGC, also claimed that the images would allow Iran to respond to any act of aggression by Iran or its Western allies against the Islamic Republic. “That’s why we say we will respond to Israel inside (its) territory, should it take any action against us,” he said.

Iran claimed last month it had started manufacturing a long-range missile-carrying drone with a range of 1,250 miles.

The Shahed-129, or Witness-129, covers much of the Middle East including Israel and nearly doubles the range of previous drones produced by Iranian technicians, who have often relied on reverse engineering military hardware with the country under Western embargo.

Last year Tehran said it recovered the carcass of a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone that had landed in its territory after going off course in Afghanistan. The regime claimed it was using the data recovered from unmanned aircraft to build its own version of one of the most sophisticated survelliance drones made by the US.

Source: The Telegraph

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