Two US Navy SEALs missing after raid on boat 'taking Iranian weaponry to Houthi rebels in Yemen
Category: News & PoliticsVia: vic-eldred • one month ago • 4 comments
By: Jitendra Joshi
U S Navy SEALs intercepted and destroyed a vessel that was ferrying “advanced” weaponry from Iran to Houthi rebels in Yemen, in an operation that left two of the commandos missing, US Central Command said on Tuesday.
The elite personnel operating from the expeditionary ship USS Lewis B Puller, supported by helicopters and drones, boarded the dhow at night near the coast of Somalia in international waters of the Arabian Sea on January 11.
The dhow was sunk by the Navy forces and the 14 crew members were detained, a Central Command statement said.
The SEALs seized items including propulsion, guidance and warheads for Houthi medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, similar to weapons used to target cargo ships in the Red Sea further north, it said.
It was the first seizure of lethal, Iranian-supplied advanced conventional weapons to the Houthis since the rebels' attacks against merchant ships in the Red Sea started in November, the statement said.
“It is clear that Iran continues shipment of advanced lethal aid to the Houthis,” USCENTCOM commander General Michael Erik Kurilla said.
“This is yet another example of how Iran actively sows instability throughout the region in direct violation of UN Security Resolution 2216 and international law,” he said.
"We will continue to work with regional and international partners to expose and interdict these efforts, and ultimately to re-establish freedom of navigation.”
The US Navy had previously reported that two of its SEALs were missing in the Arabian Sea. The statement confirmed that they were involved in the dhow operation.
“We are conducting an exhaustive search for our missing teammates,” Gen Kurilla said.
Royal Air Force bombers and US Navy ships last week hit Houthi positions in Yemen, following weeks of attacks on Red Sea shipping. The Iranian-backed militia says it has been acting in support of the Palestinians amid Israel’s war in Gaza.
Rishi Sunak on Monday warned of the potential for further allied strikes, saying the UK Government remains “prepared to back our words with actions” as Houthi missile attacks continue in the Red Sea .
The Prime Minister’s statement in the Commons came shortly after a missile struck a US-owned ship off the coast of Yemen.
Register now for one of the Evening Standard’s newsletters. From a daily news briefing to Homes & Property insights, plus lifestyle, going out, offers and more. For the best stories in your inbox, click here .
Who is online