The merchant vessel Morning Glory has been under the control of armed Libyans (rebels) for days. The ship was detained by Libyan authorities, but somehow managed to escape and disappeared in the Mediterranean with oil, loaded from a rebel-controlled port. U.S. Navy Seals, with the permission of Libyan and Cypriot officials, found the location of the missing tanker and successfully took control of the hijacked vessel.
This operation was approved by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and took place on Sunday, March 16 in international waters somewhere in southeast of Cyprus. U.S. Navy Seals boarded the hijacked by 3 armed Libyans tanker Morning Glory and took control of the vessel. No one was hurt during the special operation. The SEAL team operated from the guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80), the vessel provided a helicopter for the operation.
The Morning Glory is fully loaded with oil, property of the Libyan government National Oil Company. The ship illegally loaded the cargo in As-Sidra, a rebel-held port, and escaped the Libyan navy blockade. The tanker is now sailing to Libya with crew members from the USS Stout (DDG-55). The sailors will stay aboard the Morning Glory until the safe arrival of the vessel to a Libyan port.
The Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby informed:
"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."
As-Sidra has been controlled by the separatists since July, 2013. There were many attempts for exporting illegally oil, this was the first known "successfull" try. It is unclear where the tanker was heading.