According to The Associated Press, A team of Navy SEALs has taken control of a stateless oil tanker, The Morning Glory, seized earlier in the month by Libyan rebels, the Pentagon announced on Monday (March 17).
The SEALs boarded the Morning Glory late Sunday (March 16) in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea near Cyprus. Rear Adm. John Kirby USN said no one was injured in the operation, which was approved by President Barack Obama.
COMMENT: The vessel, whose ownership remains a mystery, was transporting stolen Libyan crude oil from the port of Al-Sidra. Libyan officials had ordered the tanker confiscated, but it managed to escape.
The Pentagon said the "Morning Glory" will return to Libya under the control of sailors from the USS Stout. It was not clear which Libyan port the vessel was destined for.
The Cyprus Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that the tanker was in international waters off the east Mediterranean island's southern coast since Saturday and that it was being monitored by Greek Cypriot vessels.
The Ministry said the tanker was anchored some 18 nautical miles south of the coastal town of Limassol when US special ops units took control. The stateless tanker is now under escort from US Navy ships.
The "Morning Glory" previously sailed under a North Korean registry, but North Korea has said it has no affiliation with the vessel, which may or may not be accurate.