Parliament has approved a law creating a General Directorate of Gendarmerie Forces with the authority to carry out special operations when it judges there is a “necessity” to do so.

The gendarmerie will protect key institutions such as banks, refineries, power plants and tourist attractions. Its officers will respond to riots and any other civilian emergencies.

The new force will be made up of members of the Public Security Department’s Special Security Forces and its Air Unit. The Diplomatic Security Unit will also fall under the control of the new body.

The head of the gendarmerie will report to the interior minister. The ministry has yet to confirm how many officers will join the new force.