Yemen beefs up security measures to abort Houthi attacks

by IANS |

Sanaa, Nov 3 (IANS) Yemen's internationally-recognized government has started intensifying precautionary security measures around key production facilities in some southern regions as the Houthi militia have threatened to wage more attacks, a government source said.

Upon the government warning, local security authorities deployed elite military units of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in and around main cities including Aden, as part of the security measures to abort Houthi threats, the source told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.

"The country's southern provinces and the western coastal areas are experiencing stability and prosperity as several vital business facilities and top investment companies are headquartered there due to the stable environment provided by the local authorities," he explained.

The source added that operations in the seaports and oil fields have "fully resumed", which helped save the country's economy from further deterioration amid the prolonged civil war.

Despite being the targets of Houthi missile threats, southern provinces continued to attract business companies and investors fleeing from the north, the official added.

Since the failure to extend a UN-mediated humanitarian cease-fire between the Yemeni government forces backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and the Houthis earlier this month, fighting between the warring sides has heavily intensified across the war-ravaged Arab country.

The nationwide truce went into force on April 2 and was renewed twice through October 2.

However, the UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced earlier last month that no agreement had been reached to renew the expired truce between Yemen's warring parties.

Failure to renew the UN-brokered truce prompted the Houthi militia to warn all foreign oil companies and companies based in the government-controlled provinces to immediately cease operating, or they will face missile attacks.

Another official of Yemen's government told Xinhua that as a response to the Houthi threats, "elite troops reinforced their fortifications in and around the country's strategic ports, including the port of Mukalla".

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia stormed several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed government out of the capital, Sanaa.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced four million, and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

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