The commercial tanker, Morning Glory, had been taken over earlier in March by three armed Libyans, acting without the authority of their government, according to reports.
"No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans,” said Kirby in a statement.
"The boarding operation, approved by President Obama and conducted just after 10 p.m. EDT on March 16 in international waters southeast of Cypress, was executed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs attached to Special Operations Command Europe,” he added.
The USS Roosevelt also provided helicopter support and "served as a command and control and support platform for the other members of the force assigned to conduct the mission."
The Pentagon said the tanker carried oil belonging to Libya’s National Oil Company and that its cargo would not be returned to a port in Libya.
"The Morning Glory will be underway soon to a port in Libya with a team of sailors from the USS Stout (DDG-55) embarked. The sailors will be supervising the transit,” said Kirby.