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Two Navy SEALs Confirmed Dead Following 10-Day Search

Two U.S. Navy SEALs, who went missing off the coast of Somalia, have been declared dead. They disappeared during a mission to intercept a ship carrying Iranian weapons.

CENTCOM’s Statement on the Incident

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U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced the SEALs were missing since Jan. 11. The search operation, lasting 10 days, failed to locate them, leading to their status being changed to deceased.

Extensive Search Efforts

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The search operation covered over 21,000 square miles. It involved airborne and naval platforms from the United States, Japan, and Spain, with support from the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.

General Kurilla’s Tribute

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General Michael Erik Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM, expressed deep sorrow over the loss. He honored the SEALs’ sacrifice and extended condolences to their families and the Special Operations community.

The Mission Details

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The missing SEALs were part of a team that boarded a dhow in the Arabian Sea. They operated from the USS Lewis B Puller and were supported by helicopters.

Seizure of Iranian Weapons

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The SEAL team reportedly seized Iranian-made missile components on the dhow. These included parts for ballistic and anti-ship cruise missiles used by the Houthis in attacks on commercial shipping.

Circumstances of the Disappearance

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A U.S. defense official revealed that one SEAL fell into rough seas during the boarding operation. The second SEAL jumped in to attempt a rescue, leading to both being reported missing.

The Dhow’s Intended Transfer

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The crew on the show, which was unflagged, planned to transfer Iranian ballistic missile components to another boat off Somalia’s coast. This information was provided by the anonymous U.S. defense official.

Distinction from U.S. Strikes in Yemen

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National Security Council spokesman John Kirby clarified that the SEALs’ mission was separate from U.S. strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. He emphasised the ongoing efforts to disrupt weapon supplies to Yemen.

U.S. and British Naval Strikes

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On the same day as the SEALs’ mission, U.S. and British forces struck Houthi targets in Yemen. These strikes resulted in the deaths of at least five Houthi members.

President Biden’s Statement

Credit: KIEV, UKRAINE – Dec 08, 2015: Vice president of USA Joseph Biden during his speech in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Kiev — Photo by palinchak

President Joe Biden described the strikes as a clear message against threats to maritime navigation. He highlighted the response to Houthi attacks, including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles.

The Houthis’ Shift in Focus

CredIt: YEMEN, Sanaa : Shiite-Houthi supporters raise rifles during a demonstration in Sanaa on October 2, 2015, against ongoing military operations carried out by the Saudi-led coalition. — Photo by YAY_Images

The Houthis, a Zaydi Shiite movement, have recently shifted their focus to the

Israel-Hamas conflict. Despite moves toward a ceasefire in Yemen, they continue to launch missile and drone attacks.

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