U.S. Special Forces seize pirated Libyan oil ship
03/17/2014 11:31 AM
03/17/2014 11:52 AM
A U.S. military commando team launched a successful nighttime raid in the Mediterranean Sea and took control of a commercial oil tanker that had been pirated in Libya, the Pentagon said Monday.
Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said no one was harmed in the covert operation ordered by President Barack Obama and conducted by a team of Navy Seals in international waters southeast of Cypress.
The clandestine raid was carried out at the request of the Libyan and Cypriot governments, Kirby said.
"The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government National Oil Company," Kirby said. "The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained from the Libyan port of As-Sidra."
Three armed Libyans had seized the vessel earlier this month, Kirby said.
The Seal team, attached to Special Operations Command Europe, embarked on the rescue raid from USS Roosevelt, a guided-missile destroyer that is part of the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group based in Norfolk, Va. The Roosevelt's home port is Mayport, Fla.
U.S. sailors from the USS Stout, also part of the Bush carrier group, were onboard the Morning Glory to help steer it back to Libya, Kirby said.