Navy SEALs Who Went Missing Off Coast of Somalia Now Presumed Dead

Two U.S. Navy SEALs who went missing earlier this month during a mission in the Gulf of Aden are presumed dead after a 10-day search for them came up empty.

The two SEALs were among a number of others who set out on Jan. 11 to board a small shipping vessel that was suspected of smuggling Iranian-made weapons that were en route to Yemen — where they were presumably to be used by the Houthis in the group’s ongoing targeting of civilian shipping.

According to U.S. Central Command, a search for the SEALs will continue, but it is no longer a rescue mission and has now been designated a “recovery” mission.

In a statement posted on the social media platform X on Sunday, Central Command said it is believed the men are dead.

“We regret to announce that after a 10-day exhaustive search, our two missing U.S. Navy SEALs have not been located and their status has been changed to deceased,” the statement began.


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The statement added, “The search and rescue operation for the two Navy SEALs reported missing during the boarding of an illicit dhow carrying Iranian advanced conventional weapons Jan. 11 concluded and we are now conducting recovery operations.”

Central Command concluded, “During this expansive search operation, airborne and naval platforms from the U.S., Japan, and Spain continuously searched more than 21,000 square miles to locate our missing teammates. Search assistance was also provided by Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command, University of San Diego – Scripts Institute of Oceanography, and the Office of Naval Research – Oceanographic Support.

“Out of respect for the families, no further information will be released at this time.”

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General Michael Kurilla, the commander of U.S. Central Command, also issued a statement about the fallen service members.

“We mourn the loss of our two Naval Special Warfare warriors, and we will forever honor their sacrifice and example,” Kurilla said. “Our prayers are with the SEALs’ families, friends, the U.S. Navy, and the entire Special Operations community during this time.”

According to ABC News,  the two SEALs went missing on Jan. 11 during a nighttime boarding of the dhow that was confirmed by military officials to have been carrying Iranian-made weapons, which were seized.

One of the SEALS fell into the water in the narrow strait between Somalia and Yemen during the boarding of the vessel in conditions that were reported to be dark and dangerous.


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As a matter of protocol, another man went in after him. Neither of them were ever seen again.

The remainder of those on the mission continued ahead and were able to secure weapons that would have almost certainly been used by the Houthis on American military ships, civilian shipping or against Israel.

The Yemen-based terror group struck an American-owned cargo ship with a missile last week, but no deaths were reported.

Not only is Iran arming the Houthis, but the country’s military is also reportedly training its militants inside Yemen.

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Deputy Managing Editor

The Western Journal

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