LONDON - Online whistle-blower organization Wikileaks announced the publication of over 2.4 million Syrian emails on Wednesday morning, a move which may shed some light on the inner-workings and dealings of the Assad regime as the violent internal conflict continues.
Wikileaks made the announcement on its official Twitter account and gave a more detailed press conference at the Frontline Club in London (see video below).
The trove of e-mails from both Syrian ministries and Western companies "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," according to Wikileaks.
There are approximately 400,000 emails in Arabic and 68,000 emails in Russian in these so-called Syrian Files. The overall data is eight times the size of Wikileaks' previous publication of confidential United States embassy cables in 2010.
"The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syrias opponents," said Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was not present at the press conference. He is currently seeking asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London and is wanted by British authorities for a possible extradition to Sweden for a sexual misconduct trial, the Associated Press reports.
The e-mails range from August 2006 to March 2012, according to Wikileaks, and will be gradually published over the next two months in collaboration with selected media outlets, including Worldcrunch partner Al Masry Al Youm.