The US military announced on Friday, January 13, that two US Navy sailors were reported missing while conducting operations near the coast of Somalia.
US Navy sailors near the coast of Somalia :
In a short statement, the US Central Command stated that two sailors were reported missing Thursday evening.
Search and rescue operations to find the two sailors are underway. “For operational security reasons, we won’t release any additional information until after the recovery operation has been completed,” said the statement.
The sailors “forward-deployed”, to the US 5th Fleet Area of Operations, “supporting various missions”.
According to the website of the military, the 5th Fleet’s operational area covers approximately 2.5 million square mile of water, including the Gulf, Red Sea and Gulf of Oman, as well as parts of the Indian Ocean.
US forces have operated in Somalia for many years in coordination and on behalf the government. They have primarily conducted regular aerial attacks to support official forces in their fight against Al-Shabaab rebels.
Washington has designated Al-Shabaab a terrorist organization.
According to US Africa Command, Al-Shabaab “is the largest and most kinetically-active Al-Qaeda network worldwide and has proven both its willingness and capability to threaten US security and attack US forces”.