Libya Ousts PM After Rebel Oil Tanker Escapes

Tanker Reportedly on Fire After Libyan Navy Attack

After a lot of conflicting reports on the fate of the North Korea-flagged Morning Glory yesterday, the picture is starting to become clear, and Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been fired as a result of what happened.

As reported yesterday, the Morning Glory was captured by the Libyan Navy, but it didn’t stay captured for long. Much smaller Libyan Navy escort ships, designed only for coastal waters, lost the ship pretty quickly en route to the port, as poor weather allowed the Morning Glory to move into international waters.

It didn’t escaped unscathed, according to Libyan MPs. They say the tanker was hit with a missile on its way into international waters, and is now on fire. How bad the fire is remains unclear, but the ship is out of the reach of the Libyan Navy.

The fiasco led to a no-confidence vote and the ouster of Zeidan. He will be replaced in the interim by Defense Minister Abdallah Thinni, who has taken an even more hostile stand on the ship. Zeidan has since fled the country.

Over the weekend, Thinni ordered the Air Force to destroy the Morning Glory with bombs, but the Air Force refused, citing concerns about the civilian and environmental impact of blowing up a ship with some $36 million in oil already loaded.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.