Britain’s The Guardian has published private correspondence of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife, as well as emails by tens of Assad’s trusted aides.
The newspaper said that the documents were allegedly intercepted by hackers from the Anonymous group which has links with members of the Syrian Supreme Council of the Revolution.
The publication was timed to coincide with the 1st anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian revolution something that experts say is part of information war against the Syrian regime.
The WikiLeaks-style publication is unlikely to be condemned by Western leaders who openly declare their desire to prod the Syrian president to step down. To this end, a variety of instruments is being used, analysts say, referring to the publication in The Guardian.
By the way, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was persecuted for publishing thousands of secret documents related, in particular, to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan on his whistle-blowing website.
According to the emails published by The Guardian, President Assad took advice from Iran on how to handle the uprising against his rule and how to crack down on protests in the cities of Idlib and Homs where “operations on restoring a state power should be staged.” Some emails quote Assad as describing political reforms he earlier initiated as “worthless laws on parties, elections and mass media.”
Vladimir Yevseyev, head of the Center for Public and Political Studies in Moscow, draws attention to the fact that hacking a private account is a crime.
"No doubt, this is part of an information war that was unleashed against Syria, Yevseyev says, referring to August 2008, when he recalls such a war was being waged against Russia. At the time, a possible intrusion into a private account belonging to the Russian President was certainly tantamount to waging a psychological war. As for The Guardian’s information, it is yet to be verified, and I suspect that this is biased information. In any case, The Guardian’s publication is part of a psychological war against President Assad," Yevseyev adds.
The Guardian reports that it “has made extensive efforts to authenticate the emails by checking their contents against established facts,” and that “these checks suggest that the messages are genuine,” – something that is questioned by Vladimir Yevseyev. He is echoed by Sergei Grinyayev, head of the Moscow-based Center of Strategic Assessments and Forecasts.
"Right now, very many interests are intertwined in Syria, including those of leading Western countries, regional powers and separate political groups, Grinyayev says. The hacking of emails is not uncommon nowadays, and prodding hackers to intrude into a private account belonging to any politician or a public figure is dime a dozen, the Russian experts adds. This is something that adds significantly to promoting the so-called black PR," Grinyayev concludes.
Some emails show that the Syrian leader downloaded music on the Internet which was used by his wife to buy goods – something that experts say resembles trivial yellow press, not the WikiLeaks-style revelations. The Guardian, in turn, expressed frustration about lavish lifestyle of Syria’s first lady against the backdrop of the ongoing bloodshed in the country. It seems that The Guardian believes that all this once again underscores the necessity of a power transfer in Syria.