Control of the air or the ground?
The Sudanese army – the sixth largest in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the “Military Balance Plus” and “International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)” centers – has the Air Force, while the Rapid Support Forces are fighting on the ground only.
“However, the air force did not give the Sudanese army the possibility to fire the coup de grace” at the RSF, as he had hoped, Ali Farji of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden told AFP.
For air strikes to be effective, “targets must be precisely identified through strong information on the ground or via satellite, which is a tool that the Sudanese army does not have,” according to the same expert.
Also, the Sudanese army “cannot massively drop bombs anywhere in Khartoum, as there are civilians and both sides also have forces on the ground,” Craig explains.
For its part, the Rapid Support Forces have the ability to move quickly with light vehicles in a city of more than a thousand square kilometers divided into three regions due to the passage of the two branches of the Nile, Blue and White, in it: Khartoum in the south, Khartoum North in the north, and Omdurman in the northeast.
Residents told AFP that they saw the Rapid Support Forces setting up checkpoints and stationed them in homes, and they also saw snipers on rooftops. On the other hand, they assert that army sites are rare in residential neighborhoods.
Faraji asserts that “there is not one battle for control of Khartoum, but rather several battles.”
He points out that “controlling Omdurman, for example, does not necessarily help seizing Khartoum North,” as these areas are separate and linked by strategic bridges.
Despite the announcement by the United States and Saudi Arabia of talks in Jeddah on Saturday between the two parties to the conflict, the expert warned that “this situation may make the strategy of attrition continue for a long time.”