Map: Drone strikes on the frontline in Omdurman
SAF seek control of Shambat Bridge
The Sudan Armed Forces are using drones to weaken defenses of the Rapid Support Forces in the Wad Nubawi and Abu Rof neighborhoods in Omdurman, which are at the frontline 2 km north of Shambat Bridge.
As seen on the map, SAF-affiliated drones have struck RSF positions at least a dozen times in this area, destroying vehicles and injuring and killing fighters.
Some of these strikes were carried out last month by loitering munitions, also called kamikaze drones, which explode on impact. CNN attributed these strikes to “Ukrainian special services”—a claim we continue to investigate.
Others were carried out more recently by the Bara'a ibn Malik Battalion, a militant Islamist group fighting alongside SAF. This group use drones that drop light munitions such as hand grenades and mortar shells, rather than exploding drones.
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The obvious military objective in the area is the Shambat Bridge, which SAF attempted to capture during an offensive in early August. However, that offensive stalled out and RSF counter-attacked, overrunning newly established SAF positions in Wad Nubawi and capturing prisoners from the Atbara Artillery, a unit recently sent to bolster the offensive. Since then the two sides have fought a grinding battle of attrition. All of these drone strikes took place within 2 km of Shambat Bridge, including six on the bridge itself.
The map shows only drone strikes that were filmed and published. Additional strikes were likely carried out that were not publicized because they were unsuccessful, as well as more conventional attacks using mortars and rocket artillery.
The significance of Shambat Bridge is that it links RSF’s forces in Omdurman with those in Bahri and Khartoum. If they lose this bridge, they will be unable to move troops, ammunition, and supplies, back and forth between the cities, and the forces on the east bank will be cut off from RSF’s home base in Darfur.
For the time being, however, there seems to be no immediate risk of this happening as the battle in this part of Omdurman is largely stalemated. More dynamic fighting is taking place in western Omdurman, where the frontline is less static. Civilians in the Ombada and Thawrat neighborhoods have suffered greatly amid escalating conflict.