The ongoing internal strife in Sudan persists, with a grim aftermath of destruction to both civilian and military equipment at Khartoum Airport. A recently released satellite image, accompanied by notes from Airbus Defense & Space (ADS), depicts the extent of the damage as of April 21.
Sadly, among the wreckage lies at least one Lockheed C-130 Hercules turboprop military transport aircraft. While military analysts are yet to determine the ownership of this aircraft, it’s plausible that the Sudanese Air Force is its owner, as the country has only one Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
The majority of the aircraft that have been damaged or destroyed are of Soviet or Russian origin, including one civilian passenger IL-62 ST-PRA, four IL-76 military and civilian versions (Sudan only has one), one transport cargo AN-72, three AN-26 civilian or military transport aircraft (Sudan has six), four AN-12 military transport aircraft (Sudan has 10), three Boeing 737s in different versions, one Airbus A330-300, one Embraer ERJ-135, one King Air B200, and one ATR-42. Additionally, there are unidentified aircraft numbered 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 20 from the ADS list.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has initiated an evacuation of civilians from Sudan in the last 24 hours. Military sea transport from the Saudi Arabian Navy has evacuated 157 people, including 91 Saudis and 66 people from other countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Canada, and Burkina Faso.
According to reports, the Saudi Arabian military has established communication with the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) military to facilitate the evacuation of the Saudi Arabian embassy. This communication was necessary due to the RSF’s control of the neighborhood where the embassy is located.
Recent reports suggest that at least one Egyptian MiG-29 was destroyed and two others were damaged during the ongoing situation in Sudan. The fate of two additional MiG-29s, parked in the airport’s hangar, is also unknown. Satellite imagery reveals that a bomb hit the hangar where the two Egyptian MiG-29s were reportedly located.
Sudan has experienced multiple coups in recent years, including one in October 2021 that resulted in the formation of a Council of Generals to govern the country. The current situation appears to have arisen due to a dispute between two of these generals.
The conflict in Sudan has emerged amidst proposals for the country to transition to civilian rule, with the dissolution of the Council of Generals and the holding of civil elections. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the commander-in-chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, is one of the key figures involved in the dispute.
Currently, he is considered the de facto “president” of Sudan. General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the commander of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF), is the deputy of General al-Burhan.
The crux of the conflict lies in the future role of the RSF, with recent reports of its redistribution in different parts of the country seen as a threat to its status as Sudan’s primary military unit. The first gunshots were heard on Saturday morning, but the identities of the shooters and the location of the incident remain unknown. This marks the beginning of the ongoing conflict in Sudan.