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”

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”

Strategic ambiguity watch: The Maritime version

Strategic ambiguity’s top tunes of the month.

No sooner do we establish that (a) Iran wants strategic ambiguity, and (b) Iran’s got it, than we see a fresh round of strategic ambiguity busting out.  Strategic ambiguity looks to be the gift that will keep on giving.

You might think the big news from the last 24 hours would be the report that Iran declined to load a Greek tanker with oil for Greek refineries, thus sparking concerns that the Iranians will cut off oil to hard-pressed Greece entirely.  Tehran has already officially stopped deliveries to France and the UK.  The Europeans are worried that a cut in Iranian oil could sink any hope of a recovery for the Greeks – and that Iran might threaten to extend the embargo to Italy, which also depends on Iranian oil.

In the wake of this report, Continue reading “Strategic ambiguity watch: The Maritime version”