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U.S. declares two missing Navy SEALs

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The United States military officially declared on Sunday that two Navy SEALs, missing since January 11 during an interdiction mission, are now considered deceased.

This tragic revelation comes after an exhaustive 10-day search conducted in the Arabian Sea near the coast of Somalia. The mission’s objective was to intercept a vessel transporting Iranian weapons, as stated by the U.S. Central Command in an official release.

The missing SEALs, whose identities have not been disclosed to the public, were reported missing during the operation. The search effort, covering over 21,000 square miles and involving vessels and aircraft from the U.S., Japan, and Spain, has transitioned from a rescue to a recovery operation, according to CENTCOM.

Defense officials informed CBS News that the sailors went overboard while attempting to board the Iranian vessel. As the SEALs ascended the ship, one was knocked off by high waves in the Arabian Sea, with the second SEAL following protocol to assist their comrade.

In response to the incident, the U.S. Navy took action by sinking the vessel, deeming it unsafe. All 14 crew members of the ship were detained following this decision. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby clarified that the event was not connected to strikes in Yemen but rather part of routine interdiction operations aimed at disrupting the flow of weapons to Yemen.

The Houthis, controlling significant areas of Yemen, have vowed to target ships they associate with Israel or its international allies. This stance aligns with their justification for missile and drone launches, seen as retaliation against the Israeli military operations in Gaza against the Palestinian group Hamas.

In a related development, the Biden administration designated Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a “specially designated global terrorist group” last week. This decision underscores the complex geopolitical dynamics and ongoing conflicts in the region.

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