Beginning this morning, the international media organization and whistleblower group WikiLeaks began publishing what they are calling the "Syria Files" – more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies, dating from August 2006 to March 2012.
According to Wikileaks, the email data "derives from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names, including those of the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture." The massive release of documents comes at a time in which Syria is undergoing a violent internal conflict that has killed between 6,000 and 15,000 people in the last 18 months.
"The Syria Files 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," the group said.
"It is only through understanding [the Syrian] conflict that we can hope to resolve it."
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."
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Over the next two months, according to a press release by the group, 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). Other publications will announce themselves closer to their publishing date.
WikiLeaks held a press conference to announce the Syria Files on July 5, 2012 at the Frontline Club in London. Since Assange is currently at the Ecuadorian Embassy, the information was presented by WikiLeaks staffer Sarah Harrison.
The Syria Files include over 2 million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies, dating from August 2006 to March 2012.