Military units protecting Yemen’s Masila oil fields, the country’s largest, withdrew on Friday and handed over security responsibilities to armed local tribes, the tribesmen and oil company employees told Reuters.

The move is another sign of the weakening grip of the Yemeni state over its land and resources more than three weeks into a Saudi-led bombing campaign aimed at weakening the Shi’ite Houthi rebel movement allied to Iran.

Companies that run the fields include state-owned PetroMasila, Canada’s Nexen Energy and France’s Total. […]