Report: Iranian military commander killed in Syria

AP | Fighting continues in Syria.

Syrian rebels plan raids to exploit Western strikes – commander

Reuters | The council sent a selection of rebel groups a military plan of action to use if strikes took place.

Israeli Dep. Foreign Minister & fmr Delta Force commander endorse Rosenberg books, “can’t wait to read this new one, Damascus Countdown”









The timing of the release of Damascus Countdown this week has been interesting as the media is filled with stories about U.S.-Israeli relations, the Iranian nuclear threat, the bloody chaos in Syria, and the growing prospect of an Israeli preemptive strike and another war in the epicenter. As such, in the midst of radio and TV interviews this week, I’ve been staying in touch with several key Middle East experts, including a former CIA Director and two current Members of the House Intelligence Committee, to keep up with fast-moving developments and provide what I hope is careful, thoughtful analysis. I’m currently drafting several op-eds based on these discussions, and will post these once they are published.

This morning, I’m grateful to be able to announce the endorsement of two good friends and renowned diplomatic and military experts. I first met Danny Ayalon when he was the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Over the last four years, he has served with distinction as Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister and we’ve become good friends during this time. He spoke at the 2011 Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem and gave a really fascinating and helpful presentation on the state of affairs in the Middle East. Three-star U.S. General Jerry Boykin and I became friends when he was serving as a senior official in the Pentagon. Since retiring from the Army, he, too, has been an excellent speaker at several of our Epicenter Conferences. Their insights have always proven very useful to me, and I’m deeply grateful for their support for my books.

“I’ve loved reading Joel Rosenberg’s books in the past — Epicenter especially comes to mind — and I can’t wait to read this new one, Damascus Countdown. Joel is a stalwart and faithful friend of the State of Israel. He’s a good personal friend. And he’s a great writer. He understands the grave dangers posed by Iran and Syria, and he’s been a bold and courageous voice for true peace and security in the Middle East. If you haven’t read his work yet, I hope you will.”

– Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister

“Joel Rosenberg is the most knowledgeable and well-rounded author in America today regarding the realities of current events in the Mideast, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. In fact, Joel is a true authority on the geopolitics and history of those regions, and speaks extensively about the serious threats that the Radical elements of Islam present to America and our close ally, Israel….Joel has an incredible ability to write both fiction and non-fiction in a way that the reader senses that they are part of the plot and often, on the front line. If you want to get a better understanding of what is unfolding in the ‘epicenter’ of today’s world, let Joel take you on an incredible and exciting journey.”

– Lt.-General (ret.) Jerry Boykin, former commander of Delta Force and former U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence

>> Fmr. Director of CIA — and fmr. CIA operative in Iran — endorse Damascus Countdown

>> Damascus Countdown releases nationwide. Santorum, Limbaugh & Forbes endorse


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander assassinated leaving Damascus. Was it Israel, or the Syrian rebels?

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was assassinated today as he left Damascus and headed towards Beirut, Lebanon. Was Israeli responsible for taking out the Iranian commander who was working closely with Hezbollah? Or was this payback by a Syrian rebel group that opposes Iranian help for the Assad regime in Damascus? Or is there another explanation all together? So far it is a mystery, yet it comes on the heels of the Israeli airstrike on a Syrian convoy taking weapons to Lebanon so many analysts are thinking this was another move by Netanyahu’s government to damage key links in the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah axis.

“General Hassan Shateri was killed on Tuesday in an ambush on the way from Damascus towards the Lebanese capital, the Iranian authorities said,” reports the London Telegraph. “They blamed the attack on Israel. Gen Shateri was also in charge of the Iranian of the Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon, set up after the devastating war in 2006 between Israel and the Iran supported Shiite Hezbollah militia. He died ‘at the hands of Zionist regime mercenaries and backers,’ the force’s spokesman, Ramezan Sherif, said in the statement.”

The Telegraph also reported that “sources inside the Hezbollah militia told the Daily Telegraph they had known that Mr Shateri was targeted for assassination for a long time, and that arrests had been made of men suspected of planning an attack. Israel has been accused using its secret service or proxy agents to murder Iranian targets before. Four Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated in the past two years in what Iran, and many other countries have said are Israeli maneouvres in a proxy war. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Gen Shateri was shot dead by rebels. ‘We do not know exactly where he was shot, but we do know that a rebel group ambushed his vehicle while en route from Damascus to Beirut,’ the Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.”

>> Pre-order my forthcoming international geopolitical thriller, Damascus Countdown, which releases March 5th

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Breaking news from Israel: Top Hamas military commander killed in air strike; 8 developments you need to know about.

(Netanya, Israel) — Night is falling here in the Holy Land. I was just emailing with a former U.S. presidential candidate about the latest developments here in Israel, and I thought I’d share the same information with you. 

Short version: it’s been a challenging week.

Here are 8 developments you need to know about.




  1. Syria and Israel have fired at each other multiple times for the first time since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
  2. More than 160 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israeli towns in the southern tier by Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorists in Gaza since last Saturday, and more than 40 Israelis have been wounded.
  3. Under pressure from Egypt, Hamas is being told to stop firing rockets — and in the last 24 hours or so the rocket fire has slowed significantly. That said, four rockets were fired at southern Israel today (Wednesday), apparently by terrorists operating in the Sinai Peninsula.
  4. BREAKING NEWS: On Wednesday afternoon, news broke that a top Hamas military commander was just killed in an IAF air strike. Now Israelis in the south are awaiting a possible new barrage of rockets from Gaza in retaliation. Still, Israeli officials believe they need to reestablish a deterrence factor by assassinating top Hamas leaders and thus raising the cost of rocket attacks. The IDF is preparing for the possibility of a major ground operation into Gaza, though it’s not yet clear Netanyahu and his Security Cabinet will feel that is necessary or wise. [UPDATE: “Shortly afterwards, the IDF struck over 20 underground rocket launchers belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in an airstrike,” reported the Jerusalem Post.]
  5. Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership which has lost control of Gaza is moving towards unilaterally declaring a state. It is seeking a U.N. General Assembly vote recognizing the state. At this point, the U.N. vote is set for November 29th, which is the anniversary of the U.N. Partition Plan vote in 1947. Such a unilateral step would be in violation of the Oslo Accords signed by the PLO and Israel which disallows unilateral actions such as this. [UPDATE: “Palestinians, supported by foreign activists, were demonstrating in dozens of places across the West Bank on Wednesday ahead of the 24th anniversary of their declaration of independence on November 15,” reports the Times of Israel. “Hundreds of protesters took part in the disruptions, during which Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli cars and tried to block roads, leading to clashes with Israeli security forces, who dispersed the protesters using tear gas. Several demonstrators were detained….Two Israelis were lightly injured north of the settlement of Efrat after protesters pelted their vehicle with rocks. Demonstrators also threw rocks at Israeli vehicles near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa and tried to block a road south of Hebron….The US consulate cancelled all non-official travel by US government employees to and through the West Bank on Routes 1, 90, and 443, as well as travel to Jericho and Bethlehem, due to the ongoing demonstrations.”]
  6. The Obama administration is pressuring Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to take unilateral steps, including with a personal phone call by President Obama to Abbas.
  7. Some media reports here say the Israelis are threatening to topple Abbas if he takes such unilateral actions in defiance of signed agreements.
  8. If this all weren’t enough challenges, a new IAEA report due out this week will indicate that Iran is steadily moving its nuclear program into deep underground facilities and that there are now 2,700 centrifuges to enrich uranium located in the Fordow facility, close to the religious city of Qom.

As I note in my recently released e-book, Israel At War: “The corridor between Tel Aviv and Tehran is the most dangerous corridor on the planet. And make no mistake: Iran is already at war with the State of Israel. The radical mullahs in Tehran declared war against the Jewish state in 1979. They have been killing Israelis and other Jews ever since. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his senior advisors are engaged in a high stakes diplomatic, financial and covert war to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat before the mullahs — driven by an apocalyptic, genocidal End Times theology – get the Bomb and the means to deliver it.  Now the question is: Will Netanyahu soon order his nation into a full scale, all-out war with Iran that could set the entire Middle East on fire?”

All that said, it should be noted that God is sovereign. As we continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in obedience to Psalm 122:6, the Lord continues to protect the people of Israel, and He loves all the inhabitants of the land, Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian Arabs, Christians and Muslims. What’s more, while there are serious tensions on the Gaza and Syrian borders, most of Israel is very safe. Tourism this year is at an all-time high. Indeed, the number of tourists coming into Israel in September was an all-time record. I’ve been here since Friday speaking at a pastors conference and I’ve never felt in danger. The challenges are real, but keep them in context that most Israelis and Palestinians are going about their daily lives without fear or interference. But please keep praying for peace, for wisdom for the leaders here, and for the followers of Jesus Christ to be a blessing to all the people here.

Thanks. Lord willing, I’ll continue to keep you updated as best I can.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog