Libyan Navy Captures Rebel Oil Tanker

Parliament Orders Creation of New Military Force to Attack Ports

The stand-off at the Es-Sidra port is over, and Libya’s Navy has captured the North Korea-flagged oil tanker Morning Glory, and has taken it to Misrata, a city held by a harsh, pro-government militia.

The ship docked at a rebel-held oil port and loaded some $36 million in oil. The Libyan military dubbed the move “piracy” and initially ordered the Air Force to attack the ship, though they refused.

Though North Korea-flagged, the ship is owned by Sea Pride Shipping, a United Arab Emirates-based company. The company confirmed ownership, but insists that it had lost contact with the operators and had no control over them when they docked in Libya.

Libya is traditionally a massive producer of oil for Europe, but since the NATO-imposed regime change production has dwindled to a tiny fraction of even its Gadhafi-era lows. With different cities disputing revenue-sharing, several different factions have seized valuable oil ports.

Though the Libyan military has been unable to wrest control over the ports back, parliament has ordered the creation of an entire separate branch of military forces just to attack ports, in the hopes that more specialized fighters can oust the rebels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.