MANHATTAN (CN) – More than 2 million leaked emails will embarrass Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Western corporations whose collusion fueled the civil war, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Thursday.
The United Nations estimates that Assad’s regime has killed more than 10,000 people since the Arab Spring uprisings spread to Syria 15 months ago.
Assange said in a statement that 6 years worth of leaked emails from “680 Syria-related entities or domain names” would embarrass the Assad regime and the Western interests embroiled in the conflict.
“The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents,” Assange said. “It helps us not merely to criticize 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 first day’s releases targeted the Rome-based industrial group Finmeccanica.
The Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso, a WikiLeaks media partner in the “Syria Files,” had exclusive early access to one set of emails, which indicate that Finmeccanica sold Syria communications equipment used to stifle the uprising.
L’Espresso published the scoop under the headline “Finmeccanica aiutava il tiranno,” or “Finmeccanica helped the tyrant.”
Bloomberg News reported that the Finmeccanica responded with statement sent by email.
Finmeccanica claimed: “Once the unrest began in Syria, and following the stances taken by the international community, no further supply was authorized,” according to Bloomberg.
But L’Espresso reported that Finmeccanica kept doing business with Syria until Feb. 2 this year, the day before the Homs massacre of 200 civilians began.
WikiLeaks said it plans to release more emails, dating from August 2006 to March 2012, over the next 2 months.
Wikileaks used this piecemeal leaking strategy with its last batch of releases, “Global Intelligence Files,” which exposed emails of the private intelligence firm Stratfor.