The search operation to rescue two SEAL sailors who went missing in the Arabian Sea during a mission to board a ship and seize Iranian-made weapons has ended after 10 days, the U.S. military said. The US said Sunday. that who left them for dead
Ships and aircraft from the United States, Japan, and Spain are relentlessly searching more than 21,000 square miles, according to the military, with help from the Fleet Numerical Meteorology Oceanography Center, the US Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area Command, the Scripts Institute of Oceanography at the University of San Diego, and the Office of Naval Research.
“We mourn the loss of our two special forces naval combatants and will always remember their sacrifice and example,” said General Erik Kurilla, head of US Central Command. “Our prayers are with the families and friends of the SEALs, the US Navy, and the entire special forces community at this time.”
According to authorities, the Jan. 11 operation targeted an unflagged vessel that was transporting illicit Iranian-made weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Authorities say that as the team boarded the ship, one of the SEALs was overwhelmed by strong waves, and a teammate tried to rescue him.
The commandos left the USS Lewis B. Puller, a mobile maritime base, and were supported by drones and helicopters. They boarded a small special operations gunboat, commanded by a naval special operations crew, to reach the ship.
In the raid, they confiscated several Iranian-made weapons, including ballistic and cruise missile components such as propulsion and guidance devices, as well as warheads and anti-aircraft defense parts, according to the Central Command. It is a new seizure by the US Navy and its allies of weapons shipments destined for rebels, whose attacks threaten global commercial traffic in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in a campaign that is involved in the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Missile components seized include the types used in the attacks.
The US Navy ended up sinking the ship carrying the weapons after it was deemed unsafe, according to Central Command. The 14 crew members of the ship were arrested.