US accuses Syria of mass executions and burning the bodies

Bryan Strickland
May 16, 2017

Jones then said that the State Department believes that thousands of detainees in the Saydnaya military prison near Damascus, the nation's largest facility of its kind, are being executed in mass hangings.

Trump's administration claims around 50 prisoners a day are killed at the military prison.

Stuart Jones said a crematorium had been created at the prison to dispose of the victims' corpses.

"Although the regime's many atrocities are well-documented", Jones continued, "we believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Saydnaya prison".

The department released commercial satellite photographs showing what it said is a building in the prison complex that has been modified to support the crematorium. Assessment of the facility, he said, included the presence of "the discharge stack, the probable firewall, the probable air intake - this is in the construction phase - this would be consistent if they were building a crematorium".

Jones said the information proves that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to violate worldwide law, intentionally targeting and killing innocent civilians. "We now believe that the Syrian regime has installed a crematorium in the Sednaya prison complex which could dispose of detainees' remains with little evidence".

In making the accusations, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones cited reports from global monitoring groups, the press and USA intelligence.

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Human rights groups believe between 60,000 and 110,000 civilians have been murdered by the Assad regime without cause or charge, with up to 20,000 executed between 2011 and 2015 at Sednaya alone.

The United States believes the crematorium would be used to cover up mass murders at the prison and will present the evidence to the worldwide community, Jones said. And it's doing so with the support of Russian Federation and Iran.

The Russians also met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Jones said the release of new intelligence comes at "an opportune time to remind people about the atrocities that are being carried out inside of Syria all the time".

The unusually direct and graphic State Department case laying out the horrors committed by the Syrian regime was meant to bolster Washington's appeal to the Assad regime's chief foreign sponsors to use their influence to rein him in, officials and experts said.

"At this point, we are talking about this evidence and bringing it forward to the global community, which we hope will put pressure on the [Syrian] regime to change its behavior".

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution in March 2016 calling for a tribunal to prosecute Assad and his allies for war crimes.

The satellite images show what it said is a building in the prison complex that has been modified to support a large-scale crematorium.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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