US declares two SEAL agents lost at sea dead – DW – 01/22/2024

Two SEAL Special Forces agents missing in an operation to seize Iranian weapons destined for Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been declared dead after a 10-day unsuccessful search, the US military said on Sunday (01/21/2024) .

United States Central Command (CENTCOM) had previously indicated that the two SEAL commandos lost at sea were part of a January 11 operation in which elite special operations personnel boarded a ship off the coast of Somalia to seize missile parts made in Iran. Had climbed.

“We are sad to announce that after 10 days of an intensive search, our two missing SEALs have not been located and their status has been changed to dead,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

The text reads, “The search and rescue operation for two SEAL naval commandos missing after being boarded by an illegal dhow carrying advanced Iranian conventional weapons (…) has ended and recovery operations are now underway “

CENTCOM described the seizure of missile components as “the first seizure of advanced lethal conventional weapons provided by Iran to the Houthis since the beginning of attacks on merchant ships in November 2023.”

That month, Houthi rebels, in support of Palestinians in Gaza, where Israeli forces are fighting Hamas, began attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea they consider linked to Israel.

The United States and Britain launched strikes on a dozen rebel targets earlier this month and US forces have since struck several missiles that Washington says were ready for launch and killed military and civilians. Both were posing a threat to ships.

The Houthis, who declared American and British interests as legitimate targets, are still not deterred and continue to attack the route through which about 12% of world maritime trade passes.

GS (AFP, Reuters)

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