(DailyVantage.com) – The U.S. military has ceased its efforts to find and rescue two Navy SEALs who were lost at sea on a mission to seize Iranian-made weapons from an unflagged smuggling on its way to supply arms to Yemen-based Houthi rebels.
The decision comes after a 10-day search and rescue operation, where the U.S., aided by both aircraft and sea vessels from Spain and Japan, combed through more than 21,000 square miles in an attempt to locate the two missing special forces operatives.
The U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command, the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the University of California, along with the Office of Naval Research also lent their efforts to the failed search.
According to military officials, the two operatives were on a small Navy craft on their mission when they encountered rough waters. One SEAL fell into the water while his partner dove in to attempt to rescue him. The operatives were identified as Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram and Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers. Both belonged to a SEAL team based off the U.S.’ West Coast. The military says that both sailors are now considered deceased.
“We will forever honor their sacrifice and example,” U.S. Central Command chief, General Erik Kurilla said of Ingram and Chambers. Kurilla extended his and the U.S. military’s condolences to the families of the two men.
The raid the two men participated in was ultimately successful, however. U.S. military operatives confiscated a large number of weapons manufactured by Iran, which included air defense parts, as well as components used for cruise and ballistic missiles. Houthi rebels have been a recent scourge of global trade that passes through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, attacking vessels ostensibly under the justification of retaliation for Israel’s continued military operation in the Gaza strip. The ship carrying the illicit cargo was judged as unsafe and was sunk, while the crew, composed of 14 men, were detained.
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