What does Iran do in Syria and Iraq?

IRGC second-in-command Brigadier-General Hossein Salami

[In this footage, IRGC second-in-command Brigadier-General Hossein Salami is trying to justify Iran’s military presence in regional countries.]

Hossein Salami: All areas that you see today surrounding us are, in fact, effective fields for our national security. Perhaps the most illogical national security strategy is the one in which a country confines its options and strategies to its own borders. This means that the enemy is allowed to create the impact of a missile by using a 60mm mortar at the border.

But when we expand the front, isolate the enemy and we engage with them at far off distances and dissipate its energy, then we create safe margin for the country. Today Syrian army is our strategic defense depth. So is Iraq. If you cannot engage with the enemy at far off distance, then you have to accept them close to yourselves. Approaching the enemy at far off distance is the best strategy, compared to allowing the enemy to get closer to you. This is, as a matter of fact, our basic rule in overseas fields.