US Central Command/AP
Two Navy SEALs who went missing at sea earlier this month off the coast of Somalia have not been found and are now dead, U.S. military officials said.
The SEALs were reported missing on January 11 after a nighttime raid on an Iranian ship. U.S. officials say Iran-supplied ballistic missiles and parts for cruise missiles have been received by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
During the operation, one Navy SEAL fell into the rough water, and a second chased the SEAL in an attempt to rescue him, NPR previously reported.
After a 10-day search of more than 21,000 square miles with help from Spain and Japan, rescue efforts have begun, the U.S. Central Command said. said in a statement On Sunday.
“We mourn the loss of two of our Navy Special Warfare veterans, and we will forever honor their sacrifice and example. Our prayers go out to the families, friends of the SEALs, the U.S. Navy and the entire Special Operations community at this time,” he said. U.S. Army General Michael “Eric” Guerrilla heads the Central Command.
Officials said they are not releasing further information about the dead at this time out of respect for their families.
The Houthis have attacked commercial and military ships off Yemen's coast in the Red Sea for weeks, saying their attacks show support for Palestinians facing Israeli offensives in Gaza. The US has launched airstrikes in Yemen's Houthi-held areas.