JERUSALEM, Israel - The U.S. warned the Sudanese government to halt its participation in arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip, according to a report in the London-based Arabic language daily A-Sarq al-Awsat.
The report says the U.S. warned Sudan in January that the convoy was being tracked and would be stopped before reaching its destination.
Because of the warning, Sudan believed the U.S. was behind the air strikes that destroyed an estimated 17 trucks and killed as many as 39 people.
A related story posted by London's Sunday Times claimed that Israel used Hermes 450 and Eitan drones to target the convoy as it traveled north from Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
The Sudanese government said it did not have proof that Israel was behind the air strikes.
According to U.S. defense officials, Iranian Fajr-3 long-range missiles were among the weaponry being transported by the convoy.
The Fajr-3 has a 40-mile range, which would put Tel Aviv within range of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The Times stated that the missiles were disassembled for smuggling through the tunnels under the border with Egypt.
"They built the Fajr in parts so it would be easy to smuggle them into Gaza, then reassemble them with Hamas experts who learned the job in Syria and Iran," an unnamed source told The Times.
The source claimed that Israel used drones because they do a better job on a moving target.
"When you attack a fixed target, especially a big one, you are better off using jet aircraft. But amoving target with no definite time for the move, UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] are best, as they can hover extremely high and remain unseen until the target is one the move," the source said.
Sources: YNet news, israel national news