TEL AVIV - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Dec. 15 approved the formation of a joint special operations force oriented to multidisciplinary missions far from Israel's borders.
The force will be led by Maj. Gen. Shai Avital and will report directly to Lt. Gen. Beni Gantz, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces.
Defense News first reported the likelihood of the proposed force - known as Depth Corps - in its Nov. 14 editions.
The force will integrate elite commando units into a single special operations command for counterterror, anti-smuggling, anti-proliferation and other operations beyond its immediate and intermediate circles of enemy states. Israel's military censor did not allow reference to these outer circle states, but foreign sources have defined them to include Iran and countries lining the Horn of Africa.
"The primary task of the Corps will be to extend joint IDF operations into the strategic depth," noted an IDF statement released late Dec. 15.