The United States said on Monday that it believes the government of Syria has constructed a big crematorium close to its Saydnaya Military prison as part of its effort to hide the mass atrocities that are carried out inside the notorious prison. U.S. officials have put the onus on the Russians to rein in the Syrian regime.
The U.S. State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs’ acting assistant secretary Stuart Jones outlined new declassified intelligence with photos and said that Russia, who supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, needs to use influence it has to stop the continued atrocities carried out by the Assad government.
Although the many atrocities by the regime have been well documented, the U.S. believes the construction of a crematorium is the regime’s effort to cover up the amount of mass atrocities that are taking place at the prison, said Jones.
Jones announced that the regime could currently be executing up to 50 prisoners per day. In February, it was alleged by Amnesty International that thousands of prisoners were hanged at the prison located 45 minutes from Damascus, the country’s capital, in a secretive crackdown on dissenters.
The report by Amnesty International, Human Slaughterhouse, said that detainees are moved during the night from cells under a pretext of a transfer. They are then taken to prison grounds where they are hanged and likely not aware of their final fate until the noose is felt around their necks, alleged Amnesty International.
The report’s photos underscore to what depths the regime in Syria has gone with Russia support, said Jones. He would not confirm whether the U.S. is going to take military action as a response to its grisly discovery of the alleged crematorium.
Jones presented his evidence only a week after Rex Tillerson the U.S. Secretary of State and Sergey Lavrov the Foreign Minister of Russia met to talk in Washington about a number of bilateral issues that included the Syria conflict.
Jones added that the government of Russia and Lavrov indicated to the U.S. interest in finding the best solution possible and that there was no solution without ending atrocities.
A number of aerial photos were presented by Jones from between 2013 and 2017 that indicated construction of a crematorium next to the prison.
The evidence was assembled via non-governmental organizations, assessment by the intelligence community and press reports.
Since the conflict in Syria began, the civil war has killed over 400,000 people with many of those being civilians.