Alex Rowell


Other emails include Assad seemingly window-shopping for Russian private jet

(Illustration by NOW)

Below, NOW publishes a handful of emails that didn’t quite belong in any of the other eight categories.



Assad looking for Russian private jet?


On 28 November 2011, Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Azzam sent a series of seven emails to Bashar al-Assad, each with the comment “Please check.”


The emails contain photos of the interior and exterior of a luxurious aircraft, the “TU 204-300 VIP,” made by the Russian aviation firm Tupolev. The final email also includes a marketing brochure with the plane’s technical specifications, diagrams, and more photos.


The brochure bears the name, address, contact information and website of a company called Ilyushin Finance Co., a Russian aviation lessor. Below, NOW presents a sample of the photos sent by Azzam.










An aide seeks reassurance


While the bulk of the leaked emails show Assad and his coterie to be, if anything, in conspicuously cheery spirits, here and there signs of anxiety and foreboding make an appearance. The following email was sent to the president by Lama Hassan on 2 November 2011:


R we going to b ok?



Aide can’t open links in Iran


High-ranking Iranian officials such as President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif may have enough clout to bypass the country’s notoriously stringent Internet restrictions, but such privileges did not extend to Assad’s media aide, Sheherazad Jaafari, daughter of the Syrian ambassador to the UN, who on 31 October 2011 replied to an email sent to her by the president containing an article with the following:


I heard so many good feedback about the article!  Many positive reactions from the Foreign media.


Unfortunately, I cant check the article out cause its prohibited to open "American and British" links in Iran.


Do u mind copy-pasting it? thanks a lot



Telecoms employee doesn’t know he’s writing to Assad


On 28 September 2011, a customer service provider at the state telecoms company, Syriatel, wrote to what he thought was a man named Sam in response to a query about configuring some Internet hardware.


Judging by his manner of address, the employee evidently had no idea he was in fact dealing directly with President Bashar al-Assad:


Dear Mr. Sam,


Sorry for the delay, firstly I am still waiting from Huawei the new driver for E367 "MAC" by email. Once I have it I will forward it immediately. Then you can do the following steps:




Thanks and best Regards

(Illustration by NOW)

The emails contain photos of the interior and exterior of a luxurious aircraft, the ‘TU 204-300 VIP,’ made by the Russian aviation firm Tupolev.”