A billboard advertising support for WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood on April 7, 2011.
Credit: Gabriel Bouys

The pro-transparency organization WikiLeaks today began releasing a total of 2.4 million emails taken from over 600 Syrian politicians, government entities, officials and corporations. 

Al Jazeera said WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison told reporters in London today that the emails, which go back to 2006, betray Western institutions' ties to the Syrian government despite loud outcry from the West over the humanitarian crisis there.

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The United Nations estimates that some 10,000 people have died in the conflict, stemming from Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown on an anti-government revolt. 

The move by WikiLeaks comes days after the United Nations Security Council backed a plan to set up a transitional government in Syria, the latest in a series of attempts to help end the crisis there. 

WikiLeaks said the emails "shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another," reported CNN

The files will be published on WikiLeaks as well as in The Associated Press, Italy's L'Espresso, Germany's ARD, France's Owni, Spain's Publico.es, Lebanon's Al Akhbar and Egypt's Al Masry Al Youm, the group announced in a press release today. 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange did not appear in London because British authorities have ordered his extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct, said the AP.

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