A team of U.S. Navy SEALs took control of a commercial oil tanker that was seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans late Sunday night, according to a Monday release from the Pentagon.
“No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby.
“The boarding operation, approved by President Obama and conducted just after 10 p.m. EDT on March 16 in international waters southeast of Cyprus, was executed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs attached to Special Operations Command Europe.”
The SEALs team operated from guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) which provided helicopter support and command and control for the team.
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The ship was carrying oil from the country’s largest oil terminal, Es Sider. The terminal has been out of the Libyan National Oil Company’s (NOC) control for almost nine months.
The seizure of Morning Glory is the latest incident in a almost 9 month protest of three oil terminals on the Libyan coast.
The terminals — Ras Lanuf, Es Sider and Zuweitina — in Eastern Libya are being controlled by armed groups calling for a greater share in oil revenue from the NOC.
The ship and cargo will now be sent to, “a port in Libya with a team of sailors from the USS Stout (DDG-55) embarked. The sailors will be supervising the transit,” according statement.