US navy in action off Libya coast
Published 18/03/2014 | 02:30
US Navy Seals made a dramatic intervention in Libya's political crisis on Sunday, boarding an oil tanker sailing across the Mediterranean with a cargo that had been seized and sold by an anti-government opposition movement.
The Pentagon confirmed that the Seals, deployed from the guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt, took over the vessel off the coast of Cyprus from "three armed Libyans".
"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'," it said.
The unexpected action comes after a group of former rebels resisted an unsuccessful raid by the weak central government to prevent it from making off with the oil – a move that cost prime minister Ali Zeidan his job and sent him to exile in Germany.
The incident has served to highlight Libya's fractured regional, religious and military politics exactly three years after the United Nations mandated international intervention in its civil war. (© Daily Telegraph London)