Sudanese President Omar Bashir on Thursday promised a painful response to what his government claims was an Israeli bombing of an arms factory near Khartoum, Reuters reported.
Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide perpetrated against his own people, successfully underwent surgery on a “benign tumor” in Saudi Arabia this week, according to Reuters. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory of the ICC treaty, and did not apprehend Bashir.
“I am in perfect health, and our response to Israel will be painful,” Sudanese state radio quoted him saying in a text message he sent following the operation.
Sudan accused Israel of carrying out an airstrike on the Yarmouk complex, a munitions factory outside the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, on October 24. The explosion and fire that caused part of the facility’s destruction left at least two dead.
Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman reacted to the incident by blaming Israel for what he claimed was an airstrike carried out by “four planes coming from the east” that “used sophisticated technology.”
“We think Israel did the bombing,” Belal said, adding that his country “reserves the right to strike back at Israel.”
Israel has remained mum on the subject. The country has been accused of carrying out strikes in the past in Sudan, which is seen as an arms conduit between Iran and the Gaza Strip.
A few days after the alleged attack, Bashir condemned the incident as “reckless behavior” as the “manifestation of Israel’s concerns and nervousness about the political and social upheavals in the region.”
Belal told the BBC on October 27 that Sudan viewed Israeli interests as legitimate targets.
Some analysts have speculated that the operation may have been a dry run before a possible Israeli strike on Iran – an operation that would require flights of a similar range. Others have said that, if Israel was involved, it was a message to Bashir and to Gaza’s terror groups, as well as to Iran.