The U.S. Central Command has confirmed that the two Navy SEALs who disappeared off the coast of Somalia on Jan. 11 are now dead.
The SEALs disappeared following an operation to board a vessel in the Arabian Sea and conduct a search for illegal Iranian-made weapons meant for Yemen's Houthis. Despite a 10-day search, the U.S. military was unable to locate the sailors.
Officials said that during the team's boarding of the ship, one of the SEALs went under in the rough seas, prompting a teammate to go in and attempt a rescue. The names of the sailors have not been released.
“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,” said General Michale Erik Kurilla, USCENTCOM Commander in a press release.
CENTCOM say ships and aircraft from the U.S., Japan and Spain searched a vast area of more than 21,000 square miles to find the two missing SEALs. The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command, the University of San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the Office of Naval Research also helped in the search.
The military says they are now conducting recovery operations.
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