„The top commander and clerical representative of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) external operations wing, the Qods Force, recently delivered speeches in Tehran and Damascus commemorating the first anniversary of the death of Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani, the most senior IRGC commander killed in the Syrian civil war. IRGC-QF commander Major General Qassem Soleimani delivered a speech on Oct. 5 in Tehran. Senior IRGC commanders and Iranian government officials were in attendance.
‚The problem of the enemies is the centrality of Syria in the resistance front and relations with the Islamic Republic,‘ Soleimani said. ‚We do not only defend Syria in this country, but we defend Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well, because DAESH [pejorative for the Islamic State] and takfiri groups were not formed for Syria, these were formed for Iran.‘ Soleimani’s statement underscores the strategic importance of Syria to Tehran. He and other senior officials justify their involvement in Syria by claiming that the fight there keeps Iran safe from threats like the Islamic State and Sunni extremists.“
(Amir Toumaj: „Qassem Soleimani: Islamic State was created to fight Iran“)