Two Navy SEALs who went missing off the coast of Somalia are now presumed dead by U.S. Central Command.
The search for the two unnamed sailors was called off after a ten-day search. Both were involved in a mission to stop a ship containing the parts for medium-range Iranian ballistic missiles, which was en route to Somalia. They tried to board the ship to take it over, which concluded in a successful raid of the weaponry, but ultimately, they went missing and were presumed to be lost at sea.
U.S. military alleged the ship was on its way to meet Iran-supported Houthi rebels before it was boarded, with the ship carrying missiles similar to the ones used against cargo ships in the Red Sea.
“During this expansive search operation, airborne and naval platforms from the U.S., Japan, and Spain continuously searched more than 21,000 square miles to locate our missing teammates,” the statement from CENTCOM read. “Out of respect for the families, no further information will be released at this time.”
“We mourn the loss of our two Naval Special Warfare warriors, and we will forever honor their sacrifice and example,” CENTCOM Commander General Michael “Erik” Kurilla said. “Our prayers are with the SEALs’ families, friends, the U.S. Navy, and the entire Special Operations community during this time.”
The operation came as tensions with the Houthis rose in the Red Sea. The Biden administration decided to launch airstrikes against the Houthis after they launched dozens of attacks on commercial vessels in the waterways.