Leaked Documents Shed Light On Syrian Regime

Documents Provide Insight Into Assad Regime
Lebanese news publication NOW has published documents, including more than 3,000 emails, leaked from the regime of Bashir al-Assad that provide insight into the crackdown of 2011 and 2012, as well as its use of public relations firms and pliant journalists to try to maintain its image while coordinating its brutal crackdown in the early months of the war.

Note: All of the emails can be viewed here. A subset of the documents was published previously by the Guardian in 2012.

Other emails include some between the regime and British law firm Carter Ruck which pressed the Daily Mail to retract a false story and pay damages. They also are oddly intimate at times — as in Asma al-Assad’s correspondence with Azmi Miqati, a Lebanese businessman whose uncle was then-Prime Minister Najib Miqati.

Meanwhile, ISIS fighters claim to have seized the northern part of the ancient World Heritage-listed city of Palmyra in Syria and, more importantly, they advanced into the Syrian province of Idlib on Tuesday.

“The capture of the village holds symbolic importance for all sides. Wednesday is the fourth anniversary of an episode in which antigovernment protesters gathered in Mastoumeh to organize and pray before a planned march on Idlib, and were fired upon by security forces,” reports The New York Times.

Et Cetera

The Science Of Setting Terrorist Bounties
The Atlantic magazine takes a closer look at how officials determine how terrorist bounties are set and whether some leaders are undervalued.

Refugees In Your Own Homeland
Lauren Wolfe of Foreign Policy addresses the plight of more than 38 million people who are displaced and trapped inside their own country and often left to fend for themselves.

“Unlike in the past though, intricate country breakdowns show five countries that account for 60 percent of new displacement worldwide: Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria, with Syria holding the largest number of IDPs in the world, at 7.6 million. We now know specifically where attention is needed. And we know the issue needs solving, the key to which, says the center, is to get people to sit up and finally see the problem — and then start coughing up funding,” she reports.

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