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Missing U.S. Navy SEALs in Iranian Weapons Seizure Mission Declared Deceased

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The U.S. military has ended its search for two Navy SEALs who went missing during a mission to interdict Iranian weapons headed for Yemen.

The SEALs were part of a raid on an unflagged ship carrying illicit Iranian-made weapons to Houthi forces in Yemen.

Despite an exhaustive 10-day search, the SEALs were not located, and their status has been changed to deceased.

“We regret to announce that after a 10-day exhaustive search, our two missing U.S. Navy SEALs have not been located and their status has been changed to deceased,” U.S. Central Command stated.

“The search and rescue operation for the two Navy SEALs reported missing during the boarding of an illicit dhow carrying Iranian advanced conventional weapons Jan. 11 concluded and we are now conducting recovery operations,” they said.

“We mourn the loss of our two Naval Special Warfare warriors, and we will forever honor their sacrifice and example. Our prayers are with the SEALs’ families, friends, the U.S. Navy, and the entire Special Operations community during this time,” Army Gen. Michael Kurilla stated.

The mission resulted in the seizure of Iranian-made ballistic missile and cruise missile components.

The U.S. Navy forces sunk the unflagged vessel and detained the 14 crewmembers.

“The interdiction also constitutes the first seizure of advanced Iranian-manufactured ballistic missile and cruise missile components by the U.S. Navy since November 2019. The direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen violates U.N. Security Resolution 2216 and international law,” CENTCOM stated.

“Disposition of the 14 dhow crewmembers is being determined in accordance with international law,” it said.

“It is clear that Iran continues shipment of advanced lethal aid to the Houthis. This is yet another example of how Iran actively sows instability throughout the region in direct violation of U.N. Security Resolution 2216 and international law,” Kurilla said.

“We will continue to work with regional and international partners to expose and interdict these efforts, and ultimately to reestablish freedom of navigation,” he said.

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