ADEN, Yemen, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's internationally-recognized government authorized Monday the deployment of army troops to confront terror groups and secure state institutions in the country's southern regions, a military official told Xinhua.
The local military source, who asked to remain anonymous, said that elite units of the southern Giants Brigades troops backed by armored vehicles were heavily deployed to secure the strategic oil-rich province of Shabwa, where vital economic projects are being implemented.
"The troops began deployment according to the government's instructions to secure the investment projects and tourist resorts established recently after expelling the Houthi militia from Shabwa," the source said.
He clarified that "the local authorities also began establishing major infrastructure projects in various areas of Shabwa to maintain a stable environment following years of conflict."
In the neighboring southern province of Abyan, newly-recruited southern security forces were dispatched to the province's mountains and valleys to confront the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch that attempts to gain a foothold in the area.
An official of Abyan's local government confirmed to Xinhua that "preparations are underway to carry out a large military campaign to confront al-Qaida elements during the upcoming hours."
The Yemeni official added that the recent military deployment strengthened security and stability in Yemen's southern regions that hope to capture the development opportunities represented by a nationwide cease-fire.
Under the UN auspices, Yemen's warring parties entered a two-month cease-fire on April 2. The related parties agreed to extend this UN-brokered truce for another two months on June 2.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa. ■