Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has restructured the national army, a Yemeni news agency reported Monday.
Hadi, who assumed leadership in February after a year of public protests forced the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has presided over a divided military with some forces remaining loyal to the ousted regime.
His new decree consolidates power under his own leadership, partly by establishing a new military unit called the Presidential Protective Forces. It also weakens an existing branch called the Republican Guard, which is headed by Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of the former president.
Hadi and his allies hope the realignment will help strengthen the Yemeni army, which has been fighting to suppress terrorist activities in the country. Dire poverty and ongoing political conflicts have made the rugged southern provinces a haven for extremists associated with al Qaeda.
The U.S. has been working closely with the new Yemeni government to prevent the terrorist network from establishing a secure base of operations in the Arabian Peninsula. The Associated Press reports that U.S. drone strikes killed 10 al Qaeda militants on Tuesday.
The United States is supportive of Yemen's military restructuring, according to Reuters.