The White House said on Tuesday that leaked emails of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad showing that he sought to evade sanctions, including by buying iTunes tracks, were “sickening.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney also said that the Obama administration was looking for further ways to tighten sanctions on the Syrian government to punish a crackdown on an uprising that has killed thousands of people.
Carney was referring to emails leaked by Al Arabiya exposing the extravagant lifestyle which President Assad and his wife enjoy as dozens of people are being killed every day throughout the country.
Reported exchanges between the Syrian leader and iTunes show that the president downloaded songs by British pop duo Right Said Fred, U.S. country star Blake Shelton, electro-pioneers New Order and U.S. dance group LMFAO.
Assad apparently registered with a dummy email address to circumvent U.S. sanctions.
The couple’s inbox also included videos from YouTube, which they shared with each other; some of which were funny, sad or contained music.
On Nov. 14, his wife, Asmaa, sent a video to her husband of Apple founder Steve Jobs falling off his chair a few hours before his death. Asmaa seemed sad in her email, even though horrible events were already taking place in Syria.
President Assad’s inbox also revealed his fondness for purchasing electronics and mobile applications. He received numerous emails from Apple confirming his purchase of iPad and iPhone applications. One of those emails showed that President Assad had bought a game adapted from the famous Harry Potter movies.
As for Asmaa, her inbox reflected her fondness for house furniture. Several emails reveal that the furniture she ordered online was delivered to a specific address in a Gulf Arab country, not Syria.