Focus on West’s double standards too

WikiLeaks on Thursday began publishing a cache of more than two million e-mails from Syrian politicians, ministries and companies saying they would prove “embarrassing” not only to the regime but also its 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,” its founder Julian Assange said in a statement from the Ecuadorian embassy where he has sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

WikiLeaks spokesperson Sarah Harrison said the range of information extended “from the intimate correspondence of the most senior [governing] Baath party figures to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations”.

In a statement, the website said the e-mails, dating from August 2006 to March 2012, “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”.

“This extraordinary data set derives from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names, including those of the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture.”

“There are a number of different languages in the set, including around 400,000 e-mails in Arabic and 68,000 emails in Russian,” it added.

The first batch related to an Italian firm Finmeccania and its subsidiary Selex which reportedly sold technology to the Syrian police.

“In the database there are emails demonstrating that Selex sold a technology called Tetra to the Syrian government. This technology allows police forces to communicate in a secure and reliable manner. The database demonstrates that selling assistance and training by Selex continued through to this year,” Ms. Harrison said.

She said it was “a large dataset” and it would take time for “all of these stories to come out”.

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