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State Dept.: Assad using crematorium to hide atrocities
16 May 2017, 10:21 | Rex Hubbard
The United States on Monday accused the Syrian regime of installing a prison crematorium to destroy the remains of thousands of murdered detainees, piling pressure on Russian Federation to rein in its ally.
He said the regime has carried out extrajudicial killings of thousands of detainees, many through mass hangings, with as many as 50 detainees a day killed at Sednaya alone.
Jones said Washington's information came from credible humanitarian agencies and from the United States "intelligence community" and that as many as 50 people per day are thought to be hanged at Saydnaya.
Syria has built a crematorium at a prison outside of Damascus to "cover up the extent of mass murders" by President Bashar Assad's regime, according to a U.S. official.
Satellite images provided by the State Department shows a prison complex that has been modified to host a crematorium.
The declassified satellite pictures taken over several years, beginning in 2013, do not definitely prove the prison building is a crematorium, but they show construction consistent with such use. One photo shows the snow melting on the area of the building where they believe the device is located.
U.S. diplomat Stuart Jones speaks has said Bashar Assad's regime has been running a crematorium outside Damascus. It says the crematorium is being used to hide evidence of the extent of the killings. Asma al-Assad has British roots, wears designer fashion, worked for years in banking, and is married to the dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has killed over 5,000 civilians and hundreds of children this year. "Russia must now, with great urgency, exercise its influence over the Syrian regime to guarantee that horrific violations stop now".
Amnesty said the executions took place between 2011 and 2015, but were probably still being carried out and amounted to war crimes.
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.
Opposition representatives have demanded Assad's removal.
The allegation of mass killings came as President Donald Trump weighs options in Syria, where the USA launched cruise missiles on a government air base last month after accusing Assad's military of killing scores of civilians with a sarin-like nerve agent. But they also said Russian Federation and Iran are aware of the facility, and accused them of complicity in Assad's war crimes. But "I would not say that they mapped out a specific way forward on how to address the issue of Syrian atrocities, or even how to move forward on the Geneva process" on the eve of the next round of yearslong United Nations efforts to bring representatives of Assad and the rebels to the negotiating table due to begin today. Numerous bodies, it said, are then burned in the crematorium.
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