A Sudanese newspaper is reporting that CIA chief David Petraeus called Sudanese deputy intelligence head Saleh A-Tayeb to deny any U.S. involvement in an airstrike that destroyed an arms factory in Khartoum late last week.
According to the report that appeared in the local Sudanese paper “al-Intiba,” after Sudanese officials placed blame on Israel for the strike U.S. officials attempted to reach out to their Sudanese counterparts to deny reports that the U.S. was involved or had prior knowledge of the attack.
Shortly after the strike the U.S. embassy in Khartoum closed, raising speculation that U.S. officials knew of the strike. However, according to the article this was merely a precautionary measure taken by the U.S. to protect embassy staff. According to the official quoted in the “al-Intiba” article, the US asked that Sudan guarantee the safety of American diplomats currently based in Khartoum.
Shortly after the attack last week a Sudanese minister said that the factory’s destruction was the result of an operation carried out by four military planes.
Analysts say Sudan is used as an arms smuggling route by Hamas. Similar air-strikes in the past have also led Sudan to blame Israel, but the Jewish state has maintained a policy of ambiguity in response.