Navy Seals take over oil tanker seized by Libyan rebels

n13-iconThe Guardian reports: American Navy Seals have seized a North Korea-flagged tanker which had been loaded with crude oil at a rebel-held port in eastern Libya, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The operation to take control of the Morning Glory came a week after Libya failed to prevent the tanker from leaving the rebel-controlled eastern port of Es Sider loaded with an estimated $20m cargo, in a crisis that has brought the country to the brink of civil war.

“The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government’s National Oil Company,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained from the Libyan port of Es Sider.”

There were no casualties in the operation, which took place in international waters off the coast of Cyprus late on Sunday night. The raid was authorised by the US president, Barack Obama, after receiving a request for assistance from Tripoli. The Seals boarded the 21,000-tonne tanker using helicopters and fast boats from a warship, the USS Roosevelt.

The Pentagon said a US navy crew was now piloting the tanker towards an unnamed Libyan port where it will be handed to government control. [Continue reading…]

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