Sanna (Reuters) - Yemen's president ordered the restructuring of some military units on Monday, aiming to curb the powers of a son of former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh and stabilize a country where Saleh's legacy still looms large.
The move coincided with an air strike that killed two suspected militants linked to al Qaeda, still a major threat to Yemen despite being driven out of its main southern strongholds by a U.S.-backed military offensive in June.
State-owned news agency Saba said late on Monday that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued decrees transferring the command of some Republican Guards' units to a newly formed force called the Presidential Protective Forces under his authority.
Other units from the elite Republican Guards, which is led by Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the ex-president's son, were placed under different regional command.
Lawlessness in Yemen has alarmed the United States and top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia, which increasingly view the impoverished Arab state as a frontline in their war on al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The president's decrees also incorporated some army units led by dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who broke away from Saleh's forces after the protests began last year, into the new presidential force or under regional command.