The U.S. military said Tuesday it had seized parts of Iranian-made missiles intended for Houthi rebels from a boat in the Arabian Sea, the first such seizure since the Houthis began attacking merchant ships.
• Also read: US cargo ship hit by Houthi missile off Yemen
“This is the first seizure of lethal advanced conventional weapons (ACW) that Iran has supplied to the Houthis since the Houthis began attacks on commercial vessels in November 2023,” the U.S. Army's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement .
This operation, carried out on January 11, enabled the seizure of weapons, including “components of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles,” the press release said.
This text also shows that two American marines, missing off the Somali coast since Thursday evening, took part in the operation.
They are two members of the Navy Seals, an elite commando force. “Intense searches” are still underway to locate them, said Michael Kurilla, head of the American military command for the Middle East, Central and South Asia (Centcom).
The two sailors were on a mission with the United States 5th Fleet, which operates in a wide area including the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. The headquarters are in Manama, Bahrain.
The rocket parts were seized aboard a dhow, a traditional Arab sailing boat piloted by a 14-member crew. The boat was considered dangerous and was sunk, the US Army General Staff said.