I’m truly amazed at the US Navy SEALS snipers who shot and killed Somali pirates holding a ship captain captive. Firstly, not being a military enthusiast, I didn’t even know the Navy had snipers. Secondly, I didn’t know that it was even possible to shoot someone in the head 23 metres away from a bobbing boat.
It’s high time that some heavy handed action was taken against these Somali pirates, to send a strong deterrence signal to them. For too long, they have been acting with impunity, seizing supertankers and taking crews hostage. As a trading nation that depends on safe shipping routes, these pirates directly threaten Singapore’s national interests.
CNN – Three gunshots. All three fatal. Fired in the dark by three specially trained U.S. Navy SEALs as the pirates’ boat rocked in the water off Somalia.
“Phenomenal shots — 75 feet away,” said Navy Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, who oversees the region.
A senior defense official told CNN that each was a shot to the head.
Gortney, in an interview Monday with CNN’s “American Morning,” described critical steps that led to the rescue of U.S. Capt. Richard Phillips, who was taken by pirates after they boarded his merchant ship, the Maersk Alabama, east of Somalia on Wednesday.
Four pirates had been holding Phillips in a small lifeboat, which had run out of fuel. “One of their pirates had left the lifeboat, needed medical attention and jumped onto one of our inflatable boats,” Gortney said. Watch Gortney describe how SEALs shot pirates »
The pirate’s need for medical help was a credit to the Maersk’s crew. When the pirates first boarded their vessel, a tussle ensued, during which one of the crewmen stabbed the pirate in the hand. Four days later, the pirate’s departure from the lifeboat to accept U.S. medical help — and try to negotiate the captive’s release — left only three for the U.S. snipers to keep their eyes on.