U.S. accuses Syria of killing thousands, burning bodies in crematorium

The Syrian regime of President Bashar al Assad is executing dozens of prisoners per day and wiping out their remains inside a new crematorium, the U.S. Department of State said Monday.

Numerous bodies are then burned in the crematorium “to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place”, said Stuart Jones, the top USA diplomat for the Middle East.

However, he said they knew about Assad’s many other atrocities — including chemical weapons attacks, extrajudicial killings, starvation, and indiscriminate airstrikes — and have supported him.

This is a developing story.

The State Department handed out to reporters what it said is newly declassified photo evidence from 2013 and 2017 to support its claim of the building being repurposed into a crematorium.

Jones cited “multiple sources” in saying that “the regime is responsible for killing as many as 50 detainees per day at Sednaya”, where he said up to 70 people were packed in cells designed for five.

More than 400,000 people have been killed since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, according to an estimate released previous year by Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria.

The U.S.is accusing Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria of killing thousands of people from 2011 to 2015 and using a crematorium to dispose of their bodies.

A handout satellite image was released on February 7, 2017, by Amnesty International shows the military-run Saydnaya prison, one of Syria’s largest detention centers located 18 miles north of Damascus.

The Trump administration hit a Syrian air base with a missile strike last month in retaliation for the regime’s deadly chemical attack in Idlib province – a unilateral strike that prompted a skirmish of words between USA and Russian officials. He also said he was not suggesting that either Russian Federation or Iran was involved with the facility.

It wasn’t the first time foreign reports speak about Saydnaya.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Human rights groups have documented mass executions and torture at the Sednaya prison, which Syria has denied.

“And Russia must bear responsibility to ensure regime compliance”.

There’s something about the very existence of a large government-run crematorium just outside the once-civilized Syrian capital of Damascus that is enough to send shivers through the conscience of the civilized world.

Last month, in retaliation for the chemical attacks done on Syrian civilians by the government, the U.S. had launched its cruise missiles that strike on the air force base located in an undisclosed region near the Syrian capital. One satellite photograph presented by Jones dated to January 2015, more than two years ago, and it was not immediately clear why the United States waited to present its evidence.