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News > World

Sudan and Iran to Strengthen Military Aid

  • The war between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, RSF, is approaching its one-year mark. Apr. 10, 2024.

    The war between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, RSF, is approaching its one-year mark. Apr. 10, 2024. | Photo: X/@thesudantimes

Published 10 April 2024

A senior Sudanese army source told the press that a year after the outbreak of the war in Sudan, Iranian-made armed drones “developed by the Sudanese army” are helping to turn the tide of the conflict, halt the advance of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and regain territory around the capital.

Six Iranian sources, officials and diplomats in the region, who, like the military source, requested that their identities not be revealed due to the sensitivity of the information, told Al Jazeera that the Sudanese army had obtained Iranian-made drones during the past few months.

Sudan: Civil War Reaches New Areas

The Sudanese Armed Forces used some old drones in the first months of the war, along with missile batteries and fighter aircraft, but they had little success in eliminating RSF fighters.

According to witnesses, nine months after the outbreak of fighting, more effective drones began to be used from the Wadi Saydna military base north of Khartoum.

The source revealed that the drones appeared to be monitoring the movements of the RSF, targeting their positions, and accurately determining artillery strikes in Omdurman, which is one of three cities on the banks of the Nile River that constitute the capital, Khartoum.

A senior Sudanese army source denied that the Iranian-made drones came directly from Tehran, and declined to mention how they were purchased or the number of aircraft the army obtained.

The source explained that despite the return of diplomatic cooperation between Sudan and Iran last year, official military cooperation remains suspended.

In response to a question about Iranian drones, Sudanese Acting Foreign Minister, Ali al-Sadiq, an ally of the army who visited Iran last year, told Al Jazeera: “Sudan did not obtain any weapons from Iran.

Iranian and regional sources stated that Tehran's support for the Sudanese army aims to strengthen relations with the strategically located country.

Sudan is located on the coast of the Red Sea, an important location in the shadow of competition between world powers, including Iran, as the war rages in the Middle East. On the other side of the Red Sea, the Houthis in Yemen are launching attacks in support of Hamas in Gaza.

A Western diplomat, who requested to remain anonymous, said: “What will Iran get in return? They now have a starting point on the Red Sea and the African coast.

For his part, Amin Majzoub, a former general in the Sudanese intelligence service, highlighted that Sudan had previously manufactured weapons with the help of Iran. He did not comment specifically on the origin of the drones recently used in the fighting.

Obtaining weapons from Iran may complicate the Sudanese army’s relations with the United States, which is leading efforts to hold negotiations between the two warring parties. The U.S. State Department did not make any declaration in this regard.


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