Tensions around the North-Korea-flagged tanker that “illegally” obtained oil from rebels who hold a Libyan port have been escalating for the last week. However, The BBC reports that overnight US forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory. The raid by Navy Seals took place in international waters south of Cyprus, said spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby. The US Seals operated from the USS Roosevelt, a guided missile destroyer, which “provided helicopter support and served as a command and control and support platform” and are now in “full control” of the vessell carrying 234,000 barrels of illicity-obtained oil. The message is clear – don’t mess with the Petrodollar.
US Navy Seals boarded and took control of an oil tanker that had loaded crude at a rebel-held port in eastern Libya and escaped to sea, the Pentagon said Monday.
No one was hurt “when US 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 press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
The operation was approved by President Barack Obama and was conducted in the early hours of Monday (just after 0200 GMT) “in international waters southeast of Cyprus”.
The Morning Glory’s evasion of a naval blockade at the eastern port of Sidra prompted Libya’s parliament to sack Prime Minister Ali Zeidan last week.
Adm Kirby said the operation had been authorised by President Barack Obama and that no-one had been hurt.
“The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government National Oil Company. The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained,” he said, adding that it would now be returned to a Libyan port.
The Morning Glory originally was a North Korean-flagged ship, but Pyongyang on Wednesday denied any responsibility.
The ship was operated by an Egypt-based company that was allowed to temporarily use the North Korean flag under a contract with Pyongyang, North Korean state news agency KCNA said.
Pyongyang had “cancelled and deleted” the ship’s North Korean registry, as it violated its law “on the registry of ships and the contract that prohibited it from transporting contraband cargo”.
The loading of the Morning Glory and its escape to sea marked a major escalation in the struggle between Tripoli and the rebels, and triggered the ouster Tuesday of liberal-backed premier Ali Zeidan, who fled the country
…the US move is likely to act as a deterrent to any further attempts to illicitly buy oil from the rebel-controlled ports.
Don’t mess with the Petrodollar…