The Houthi group plans to explode the floating storage and offloading (FSO) facility Safer anchored off the Yemeni western port city of Hodeida, spokesman for the Yemeni internationally-recognized government said Monday.
The Houthis have in several occasions rejected all mediations by the UN, UK and many countries that tried to persuade them into allowing UN teams access to repair Safer, Rajih Badi added in remarks to Asharq Al-awsat.
"They frankly told one of the mediation .. that they would not allow access for any repair team, as they wanted to use the facility as a pressure card; if the [government] forces advance towards Hodeida, they will blast the storages themselves to create an environmental disaster and divert the world's attention to it," he told the Saudi paper.
The spokesman held the group "fully accountable for any environmental disaster stemming from an oil leakage from Safer."
On Saturday, the Houthi foreign minister warned against a leak out of the tanker or any use of this issue in a reckless military hostility, according to the Sana'a-based Saba.
"This issue should be dealt with in purely environmental, technical way," FM Hisham Sharaf added.
While warnings have been increasingly issued that a leakage might lead to a catastrophe, the Yemeni government and Houthis have traded blames for preventing repairs of the tanker that contains more than one million barrels of crude.