WikiLeaks, the controversial transparency activist group, has started publishing millions of email correspondence between officials of the Syrian Assad government and governments and corporations around the world in what it is calling the ‘Syria Files’.
The emails are dated from August 2006 to March 2012 and derive from over 675,000 email addresses, including those for Syria’s Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture and the dataset a hundred times the size of the ‘CableGate’ leaks which made the organisation and household name. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said:
The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents. It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.
The ongoing conflict has resulted in the deaths of between ,600 and 15,00 people in the last 18 months, and WikiLeaks is hoping that this trove of emails in many languages including Arabic, English, and Russian, will
…shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another.
Assange did not attend the London unveiling of the Syria Files due to his current occupancy of the Ecuadorian embassy claiming political asylum with an aim to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims.