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Pro-government Yemeni troops say they've taken a key base in south formerly used by US

  • In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, fighters against Shiite rebels known as Houthis gather at the road leading to Al-Anad base near Aden in the southern province of Lahej, Yemen. The capture of the Al-Anad base was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of Houthis. (AP Photo/Wael Qubady)

    In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, fighters against Shiite rebels known as Houthis gather at the road leading to Al-Anad base near Aden in the southern province of Lahej, Yemen. The capture of the Al-Anad base was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of Houthis. (AP Photo/Wael Qubady)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, fighters against Shiite rebels known as Houthis gather on a road leading to Al-Anad base near Aden in the southern province of Lahej, Yemen. Pro-government troops seized the base from Shiite rebels on Monday, military officials said. The capture of Al-Anad was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of Houthis. (AP Photo/Wael Qubady)

    In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, fighters against Shiite rebels known as Houthis gather on a road leading to Al-Anad base near Aden in the southern province of Lahej, Yemen. Pro-government troops seized the base from Shiite rebels on Monday, military officials said. The capture of Al-Anad was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of Houthis. (AP Photo/Wael Qubady)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, fighters against Shiite rebels known as Houthis stand on their armored vehicles on a road leading to Al-Anad base near Aden in the southern province of Lahej, Yemen. Pro-government troops seized the base from Shiite rebels on Monday, military officials said. The capture of Al-Anad was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of Houthis. (AP Photo/Wael Qubady)

    In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, fighters against Shiite rebels known as Houthis stand on their armored vehicles on a road leading to Al-Anad base near Aden in the southern province of Lahej, Yemen. Pro-government troops seized the base from Shiite rebels on Monday, military officials said. The capture of Al-Anad was a significant victory for the forces allied to Yemen's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in their battle to reverse the gains of Houthis. (AP Photo/Wael Qubady)  (The Associated Press)

Pro-government Yemeni forces say they have taken control of a key military base in the country's south. The base had been seized by rebels earlier in the conflict and had once housed U.S. intelligence operations.

The Defense Ministry, from Saudi Arabia where the Yemeni government is in exile, announced the "liberation of Al-Anad military base," thanking the Saudi-led coalition that has been targeting the rebels, known as Houthis, in an air-campaign since March.

The rebels issued a statement on the rebel-controlled news agency SABA, denying the base had been taken.

Pro-government troops, backed by tanks and armored personnel carriers, pushed toward base for days as coalition airstrikes cleared the path for their advance.

Al-Anad was once the site of U.S. operations against al-Qaida's powerful Yemeni affiliate.