Whistle-blower website WikiLeaks on Thursday released a cache of more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and other functionaries, which it said would embarrass not only Syria but also its opponents.
The data set of emails dating from August 2006 to March 2012 is from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names, including those of the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture, the website said.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is seeking political asylum in Ecuador, said, "The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria's opponents. It helps us to 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
Over the next two months, ground-breaking stories derived from the files will appear in WikiLeaks (global), Al Akhbar (Lebanon), Al Masry Al Youm (Egypt), ARD (Germany), Associated Press (US), L'Espresso (Italy), Owni (France) and Publico.es (Spain), it said.
Called 'The Syria Files', the website said the emails "shone 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.
The range of information extends from intimate correspondence of the most senior Baath party figures to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations, it said.
The database comprises 2,434,899 emails from 680 domains. There are 678,752 different email addresses that have sent emails and 1,082,447 different recipients.
There are a number of different languages in the set, including around 400,000 emails in Arabic and 68,000 emails in Russian.