The U.S. military is currently engaged in a high-stakes search for two Navy SEALs who went missing during a critical operation in the Arabian Sea. This operation wasn’t just any mission; it involved intercepting Iranian-made missile parts en route to Houthi rebels in Yemen. Despite having personnel and a drone on overwatch, two SEALs seem to have disappeared.
The waters off the Yemen coastline have become increasingly volatile. The impact of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel has rippled through the region, drawing in various players, including Washington and Iran-backed groups like the Houthis.
Here’s what we know about the incident. During a nighttime operation to board a boat, one SEAL fell into the water while attempting to climb onto a small boat, known as a dhow. In a display of bravery and protocol, another SEAL jumped in after him. This intense moment was captured by a drone overhead, initially deployed for the mission. The teams were seizing Iran warheads headed for the Houthis.
In the aftermath, the U.S. Navy took 14 crew members from the dhow and, deeming it unsafe, sank the vessel. Parallel to this, the U.S. launched strikes against the Houthis, targeting militants preparing to launch missiles at commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
There are no details made public about what took place between the SEAL falling overboard and the Navy taking the crew into custody. However, there were reports that high waves caused the SEAL to fall and may be the catalyst for the accident.
Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, CENTCOM’s commander, said in the latest statement: “We are conducting an exhaustive search for our missing teammates.”
From Business Insider:
US Central Command detailed the military operation that took place on Thursday near the coast of Somalia.
The Navy SEALs carried out a “complex boarding” of a dhow, operating out of the USS Lewis B. Puller and assisted by helicopters and unmanned aerial drones, CENTCOM said.
The statement said the boat in question was performing illegal shipments of weapons from Iran to restock Houthi fighters in Yemen.
Among what was seized were propulsion, guidance, and warheads for medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as air-defense-associated components, it said.
As of now, the search for the missing SEALs continues. The U.S. military is hopeful, citing the warm waters and the SEALs’ training and resilience. We’re all hoping for a positive outcome.
Recently, the US launched a new wave of strikes against the Houthis, destroying four ballistic missiles that presented a threat to shipping in the area.
Recently, a Greek vessel was hit but sustained only cosmetic damage. According to the Houthis’ military spokesman they fired at the ship after the crew refused to answer a warning call and claimed the vessel was headed to a port in Israel. However, the shipping tracking website showed the ship was headed for Suez, Egypt.