Navy SEALs take over hijacked tanker in Mediterranean

The Barbary pirates are back.

 

The new face of smuggling? (Photo: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)
The new face of smuggling? (Photo: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

Earlier in March, a shadowy oil tanker, suddenly bearing the name Morning Glory, showed up in Es-Sider, Libya with a plan to load oil from terminals held by Libyan rebels.

Back in January, forces of the Libyan government fired on a tanker as it attempted to enter the rebel-held port, reportedly to load another cargo of oil.  The tanker, Baku, Continue reading “Navy SEALs take over hijacked tanker in Mediterranean”

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Great news: Maritime lawlessness back in the Med

Everything old is new again.

The Libyan navy reportedly fired on Sunday at a tanker that tried to enter a militia-held port in Eastern Libya to load crude oil illegally.  The tanker refused orders to change course, and fled Libyan waters, apparently toward Malta.

The interesting aspect of the event is that the tanker in question doesn’t seem to be a rusting bolt-bucket of uncertain parentage, but rather a ship owned by a respected Turkish shipping company, which has a large, modern fleet and does business all over the world.

There is no reason to suspect that the Turkish company is involved in the skullduggery off the Libyan coast.  The question is who is involved: Continue reading “Great news: Maritime lawlessness back in the Med”

Russian navy: First port visit to Egypt (among others) in 21 years

Rule Rossiya.

Suddenly, even Vladimir Putin looks more attractive.  He looks, at least, like he actually intends to fight radical Islamism – in some of its varieties anyway.  In theory, he has some pull with Iran.  He can exert a certain level of “check” on the Syria crisis.  His relatively well armed nation sits on the other side of Erdogan’s wild-card Turkey, which keeps bouncing from China to Iran to NATO and back again.  He’s not “Europe” – not really – but “Europe” acknowledges that he has to be given a place at the table.

Maybe he doesn’t look attractive, exactly; maybe the word is interesting.  Whatever it is, it’s showing up in real forms now, in regional nations’ decisions in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Last week came the flurry of reports that Continue reading “Russian navy: First port visit to Egypt (among others) in 21 years”