The Pentagon has said on Tuesday that Two US Navy SEALs are lost at sea whilst they were on a missile to target Iranian “advanced lethal aid” being transported to the Houthis militants in Yemen.
The Navy SEALs were reported missing in the day after their mission started on 11 January off the coast of Somalia, the Pentagon said that as of Tuesday morning the pair are still lost.
During a night-time mission a small sailing boat was seized with Iranian weapons onboard heading to Yemen, 14 crew members were taking into custody by the US Navy.
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The Pentagon said the weapons shipment included, “propulsion, guidance, and warheads for Houthi medium range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) and anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), as well as air defense associated components.”
The Pentagon said that part of their “campaign of attacks against international merchant shipping,” is to track down any weaponry heading to the Iranian backed Houthis militants who are based in Yemen.
Over the weekend US officials told the Associated Press the two Navy SEALs were on a interdiction mission, they were both climbing on to a vessel and a wave knocked one of them off, the second jumped in the sea following their protocol.
“We are conducting an exhaustive search for our missing teammates,” said General Michael Erik Kurilla, US CENTCOM Commander.
General Kurilla said the Iranian weapons being sent to Yemen is “yet another example of how Iran actively sows instability throughout the region in direct violation of UN Security Resolution 2216 and International law.”
Also on Tuesday the Royal Navy agency UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported that another cargo vessel has been hit by a missile in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen.
The Greek owned bulk carrier MT Zografia with 24 crew members on board was sailing from Vietnam to Israel was hit by a missile off the Yemen coast travelling thought the Red Sea.
British maritime security firm Ambrey said on Tuesday, “A Malta-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier was reportedly targeted and impacted with a missile while transiting the southern Red Sea northbound.”
The UKTMO said they had received a report of an “incident” around 100 nautical miles northwest of the Yemeni port of Saleef.
On Monday the Houthis militants fired a missile at a US owned cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden and on Sunday a US fighter jet shot down a cruise missile heading towards a US destroyer.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in an update of the attack on Monday, “On January 15 at approximately 4pm (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and struck the M/V Gibraltar Eagle, a Marshall Islands-flagged, US-owned and operated container ship.
“The ship has reported no injuries or significant damage and is continuing its journey.”