The search for two US Navy SEALs missing in the Gulf of Aden has been called off; the soldiers have been declared dead.
US Central Command halted search and rescue efforts for two Navy SEALs who went missing during an operation on a sailboat in the Arabian Sea on January 11
Search for two US Navy SEALs missing in Gulf of Aden called off; soldiers declared dead
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced the end of 10 days of search and rescue efforts for two US Navy SEALs who went missing on Thursday, January 11, during an operation on a sailboat containing ballistic missile components. CENTCOM stated that the soldiers could not be found and were declared dead.
"We regret to inform you that after 10 days of extensive search efforts, the two missing US Special Forces commandos have not been located and their status has been changed to dead. The search and rescue operation for the two SAT commandos, who were reported missing during a January 11 boarding of a smuggled vessel carrying Iran's advanced conventional weapons, has ended."
Three countries participated in the work
"During this extensive search operation, air and sea platforms from the United States, Japan and Spain continuously searched more than 21,000 square miles to find our missing teammates," CENTCOM said, noting that Japan and Spain also took part in the search for the commandos.
CENTCOM Commander General Michael Erik Kurilla said, "We mourn the loss of our two warriors and will forever honor their sacrifice and exemplary conduct. Our prayers are with the commandos' families, friends, the US Navy and the entire Special Operations community during this time."
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also shared a message, "We mourn the loss of our two brave Navy SEALs and our hearts are with their families. The entire Department is united in grief today. We are grateful to all who worked tirelessly to find and rescue them."
CENTCOM announced on January 16 that a sailboat was raided in the Sea of Oman and Iranian-made ballistic missile components were seized. In the written statement claiming that these components were sent to the Houthis, the following statements were used:
"US Navy Special Forces from the USS Lewis B Puller, supported by helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), boarded a sailboat near the Somali coast in the international waters of the Arabian Sea and seized Iranian-made ballistic missile and cruise missile components. The seized components included guidance and warheads for Houthi medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as air defense components. Initial analysis indicates that the same weapons were used by the Houthis to threaten and attack innocent sailors aboard international merchant ships transiting the Red Sea."