Friday, March 16, 2012

Syria: Assad's Personal Emails Leaked. What's in Them?

Courtesy of


As the Syrian uprising reaches its first year, the world is getting a personal look at president Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asma. First to euronews, with one of the more disturbing revelations.

“Emails reportedly taken from the personal accounts of Syria’s president and his wife allegedly reveal his regime sought advice from Iran on suppressing opposition protests.”

The documents, some 3000 emails, were given to the Guardian newspaper by the Syrian opposition. The opposition says the email passwords were leaked to them in June, and they monitored the accounts for information until they were recently shut down following an Anonymous hacking.

Guardian reporters say they made every effort to confirm the emails’ authenticity, and they’re convinced the messages are real. They say the emails show:

“Assad established a network of trusted aides who reported directly to him through his ‘private’ email account – bypassing both his powerful clan and the country's security apparatus.”


“Assad made light of reforms he had promised in an attempt to defuse the crisis, referring to ‘rubbish laws of parties, elections, media’.”

The West has long accused Iran of supporting Assad’s crackdown. And while the emails don’t mention any material support from Tehran, they do show Assad receiving Iranian advice on managing the media. Foreign Policy discusses one of the emails.

“At one point, a media advisor provides Assad with a long memo ahead of a speech in December, saying that the points covered had been cased on consultations with ‘the media and political adviser for the Iranian ambassador.’ The same memo urges Assad to employ ‘powerful and violent’ language to attack foreign influence on Syrian affairs.”

The emails also give a look at the private lives of the Assads. They show Asma spending thousands of dollars on candlesticks, tables and chandeliers from Paris designers. And they show the Assads were also not without a sense of humor.

In one email, Assad circulated this video to his media advisers. They apparently all got a good laugh out of the video, which uses toys to mock Arab League monitors for failing to find tanks in the city of Homs. (Video source: Telegraph)

Assad also seems to be into Harry Potter. He reportedly downloaded several Potter apps and one of the films. And Fox News reports, the emails also display his taste in music.

“Assad downloaded video games, movies, apps and tunes by LMFAO, Chris Brown and even country star Blake Shelton.”

Assad apparently shared the lyrics to Shelton’s song “God Gave Me You” with his wife, in an email the Guardian calls “laden with self pity.”