The Guardian has published excerpts from a series of emails that it claims belong to Bashar al-Assad and his inner-circle. It is difficult to vouch for the authenticity of the emails but suspicion remains, considering that anything relating to events in Syria has long since become difficult to verify, considering the proxy-war between competing powers and their different aligned media outlets. Of course, in such a situation, reports from Amnesty International are the best source for reliable information. The organisation has recently published a report that documents the extent of regime repression.
As for these emails, then they depict what are almost parodies of the detached dictator and a wife with a panache for expensive shoes and household ornaments/furniture. The Guardian has now published a full feature on the emails and if authentic, do not offer much new, other than showing a sincere loyalty to Bashar al-Assad from his wife’s family, despite being from the city of Homs. The Guardian sought to make it salient, even a main reason for publishing the emails, that it demonstrates the involvement of Iran in advising Bashar al-Assad on possible manoeuvres (Iranian diplomats in Damascus were specifically noted) though this is nothing new and we also know the Iranian regime gives economic aid to Syria, to bypass the crippling sanctions. However, the Guardian wishes to further allude to fighters and an armed presence in quelling the uprising, though not related to the leaks, but then states Iran and Hezbollah’s denial:
Iran and Hezbollah have been accused throughout the year-long uprising of providing on-the-ground support to the regime crackdown, including sending soldiers to fight alongside regime forces and technical experts to help identify activists using the internet. Iran and Hezbollah both deny offering anything more than moral support.
The Guardian, specifically Simon Tisdall, has a history with this type of journalism.