U.S. Navy SEALs stormed a North Korean oil tanker in the off the coast of Cyprus Sunday night after it was hijacked by Libyan rebels.
Libyan rebels seized control of the Morning Glory and intended to sell the several million dollars worth of crude oil on board to eastern Libya. After the Libyan government failed to regain command of the ship, President Obama approved the daring operation and the SEAL team took the vessel without firing a shot, Washington Post reports.
“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,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement released by the Department of Defense.
The Libyan government stated they were unable to retake the ship due to “bad weather and inadequate resources.” They opposed the sale of oil to eastern Libya so strongly they threatened to bomb the tanker.
According to a Libyan statement, the Morning Glory’s crew was “safe and well” and would be “dealt with according to international and national law.” And the DoD’s statement explained why America stepped in.
“We don’t want to live in a world where armed individuals or groups are able to seize vessels, threaten people’s lives and sell stolen cargo for their own financial gain,” the statement said. “This was a stateless vessel on the high seas that was not flying under a flag recognized by any nation.”