Navy Seals Intercept Missile Parts Bound for Iran

( – Beginning on November 19, 2023, Houthi rebels have been attacking ships in the Red Sea. The BBC reported that the attacks began when the Iranian-backed group hijacked a commercial ship and continued by attacking over two dozen more using drones, missiles, and speedboats. In a defensive move, the US and UK conducted strikes against targets used by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Another recent move by the United States involved the Navy SEAL team.

On January 16, US Central Command (CENTCOM) released a statement explaining that US Navy SEALs conducted a night-time seizure of a dhow — a sailing vessel — illegally transporting “advanced lethal aid from Iran” on its way to Yemen to resupply the Houthi group. The press release stated that the team was operating from the USS Lewis B Puller and was supported by drones and helicopters to commandeer the vessel near the coast of Somalia. The operation took place on January 11.

The US seized a horde of ballistic and cruise missile components made in Iran, including anti-ship cruise missiles, warheads for medium-range ballistic missiles, and propulsion and guidance parts. CENTCOM said this was the first seizure of its kind since the Houthis began its attack in November of last year.

Unfortunately, during the operation, two US Navy sailors went missing. According to The Hill, one SEAL was knocked into the rough seas while boarding the dhow, and the other jumped in to save him. Both are still lost at sea, but CENTCOM Commander General Michael Erik Kurilla assured the military was doing everything it could to find the “missing teammates.”

Central Command stated that the US Navy sunk the dhow and captured the 14 crew members onboard. The statement said their release is “being determined in accordance with international law.” Kurilla stated that Iran was “actively sow[ing] instability” in the region and directly violating UN Security Resolution 2216.

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