In a press release, WikiLeaks said the emails will expose how western governments and corporations say they are opposed to the regime in Syria, but still offer aid (one of the releases is titled, "How the Finemeccanica technology is helping the Syrian regime." (Finemeccanica is an Italian manufacturer).
For example, one exchange is between the Syrian government and a company called Selex Elsag, a subsidiary of Finemeccanica, is titled "chopper accessories" and a Selex Elsag official mentions that certain parts can't be shipped because they are manufactured in the US. He suggests finding another manufacturer.
This cache of documents is much larger than the 250,000 that WikiLeaks released confidential diplomatic cables in 2010. That release angered the U.S. government, which said it leaked classified information about Afghanistan and Iraq.
Syria has been in the throes of what amounts to a civil war since March of last year. As the violence has escalated some 15,000 people have been killed. The United States and the European Union have strongly condemned the Syrian regime and pushed for imposing sanctions, and the Arab League rescinded Syria's membership. China and Russia have generally opposed sanctions.
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Jan Sefti