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Missing Navy SEALs were on mission to seize weapons meant for Houthis

The U.S. military said it's still conducting an "exhaustive search" for the Navy SEALs, five days after the original mission.
A vessel that carried Iranian-made missile components bound for Yemen's Houthis.
Posted at 12:21 PM, Jan 16, 2024

Two U.S. Navy SEALs who went missing off the coast of Somalia were involved in a mission to seize weapons that were meant for Yemen's Houthis, the military revealed on Tuesday. 

According to U.S. Central Command, the SEALs were conducting a nighttime seizure Jan. 11 of a vessel in the Arabian Sea that was filled with "lethal aid" provided by Iran. 

The circumstances surrounding how the SEALs went missing have not been made public. Their names or where they were based have also not been released.

“We are conducting an exhaustive search for our missing teammates,” Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla said.

Who are the Houthis and why did the US and UK retaliate for attacks?
Shiite fighters, known as Houthis, hold up their weapons as they chant slogans at the residence of a military commander.

Who are the Houthis and why did the US and UK retaliate for attacks?

The U.S. had prior concerns about upending a shaky truce in Yemen and triggering a wider conflict in the Middle East.


CENTCOM said the vessel was stocked with Iranian-made ballistic missile and cruise missile components. 

"The direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen violates U.N. Security Resolution 2216 and international law," the military said in a statement. 

After seizing the weapons, the U.S. said it sank the vessel. There were reportedly 14 crew members on the vessel. The military said they will be dealt with in "accordance with international law." 

Tensions between the U.S. and the Houthis have recently heightened. The U.S. struck dozens of Houthi-controlled sites in Yemen last week after repeated provocations by the Houthis in the Red Sea. The group has targeted vessels in retaliation for Israel's operation in Gaza.