Assad emails show he took Iran’s advice
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (2nd R), his wife Emine (L), Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) and his wife Asma visit Damascus in this file photo. AFP PhotoBashar al-Assad has taken advice from Iran on countering a revolt against his rule and joked about his promises of reform, according to a trove of e-mails taken from the personal accounts of the Syrian president and his wife, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The emails, intercepted from June last year until early February, appear to show that al-Assad received advice from Iran or its militant proxies on several occasions.
Al-Assad’s media consultant told the president he had “consultations with a good number of people in addition to the media and political adviser for the Iranian ambassador” while preparing a speech in December.
‘Violent language’ advised
“I believe the language must be powerful and violent because the people need to see a powerful president defending the country” and to show appreciation for support from “friendly states”, the adviser wrote. The memo also advised that al-Assad’s government should “leak more information related to our military capability” to convince the public that it could withstand a military challenge.
One of the estimated 3,000 emails which the Guardian said it obtained from an unnamed Syrian opposition member indicated that al-Assad and his family were urged to quit Syria in January by a daughter of the emir of Qatar, one of his sharpest Arab critics.
“I only pray that you will convince the president to take this as an opportunity to exit without having to face charges,” Mayassa al-Thani, daughter of Qatar Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, wrote to to al-Assad’s British-born wife, Asma, on Jan. 30. “I am sure you have many places to turn to, including Doha.” The Guardian said the emails came from the private accounts of al-Assad and his wife and was confident they were genuine.
Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.