Forces of the Yemeni internationally-recognized government on Saturday took control over camps and entrances of Ataq, the provincial capital of the southern Shabwa governorate, following fierce fighting with the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces.
Leaders at the Emirati-backed STC admitted defeat and control by the official army of the city.
Government troops have tightened control over Thamad camp and forced STC forces out of government buildings, local sources said, including the political security, office of financeand STC office.
The national army has secured the desert road after combing the camp and assuring that any army reinforcements could smoothly arrive at Ataq airport, the sources added.
"We direct army and security personnel to guard the public and private properties and stabilize security" in Ataq, Shabwa governor said Saturday.
Genuine values of Shabwa people along with well conduct and tolerance need to be prevailed, Mohamed Saleh bin Adio added on Twitter.
On their part, the STC belittled the government forces' takeover of their office.
"There is what more important than a civil building or a corner of a street," said secretary of the STC chairman.
"Don't quiver for [the loss of] an empty civil building. Protecting the civilians .. is a moral responsibility in which our southern armed forces deal under war rules," Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh added on Facebook.
STC battle with "forces of extremism and terrorism is continuous and open .. Be sure, our southern armed forces have ability and knowledge to deal with evil forces in the suitable place and time," he claimed.
For STC foreign relations officer, Ahmed Omar bin Farid, this "is not the first time injustice troops pass through Ataq, as Houthis had already entered the city by collaboration from traitors and, then, were forced out."
Late on Friday, the STC called on all parties in Shabwa to exercise restraint, abide by ceasefire called by the Saudi-led coalition and insure safety for coalition troops.
In the meanwhile, clashes renewed between the STC and government forces in Ataq of Shabwa, as theformerseeks to take control of other southerngovernorates, after its forces seized on 10 August full control over Aden, following4-day violent clashes with official army that left 40 people killed and 260 others injured, according to UN release.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been leading a military coalition in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Hadi to retake areas controlled by Houthi (Ansarullah) group seen as proxy for Iran in the Arab Peninsula country.
Southern separatists have exploited Yemen's war to enhance their presence in the south, backed by the UAE that helped the STC establishment in May 2017 to consist of bodies calling for separation, but also trained and armed local forces under STC command.
The STC claims to be representative for Yemeni southerners and seeks to impose control over all the south, but it is not fully supported by people there.