US Accuses Syrian Govt of Mass Hangings / Burning Corpses 'Like The Holocaust' Reader 05/16/2017 (Tue) 00:10:09 Id: 08dc20 No. 835 del
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-accuses-syria-of-mass-executions-and-burning-bodies/2017/05/15/b7b66c86-3986-11e7-8854-21f359183e8c_story.html?utm_term=.346e5adee6aa

http://archive.is/XV6s5

U.S. says Syria built crematorium to handle mass prisoner killings
>The Syrian government has constructed and is using a crematorium inside its notorious Sednaya military prison near Damascus to clandestinely dispose of the bodies of prisoners it continues to execute inside the facility, the State Department said Monday.
>Thousands of executed detainees have been dumped in mass graves in recent years, acting Assistant Secretary of State Stuart Jones said. “What we’re assessing is that if you have that level of production of mass murder, then using the crematorium would...allow the regime to manage that number of corpses . . . without evidence.”
>“We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Sednaya prison,” he said in a briefing for reporters.
>The Syrian regime, Jones said, “has treated opposition forces and unarmed civilians as one and the same,” continuing to “systematically abduct and torture civilian detainees, often beating, electrocuting and raping these victims,” and authorizing “the extrajudicial killings of thousands.”
>The State Department distributed overhead photographs it said documented the gradual construction of the facility outside the main prison complex, and its apparent use this year. Jones said that “newly-declassified” information on this and other atrocities by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, came from “intelligence community assessments,” as well as from non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International and the media.
>“These atrocities have been carried out seemingly with the unconditional support from Russia and Iran,” Assad’s main backers, Jones said. Neither government commented on the new U.S. allegation.
>Charges of mass murder and incinerated bodies, evoking the Holocaust, contrasted with last week’s Washington visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. They were pictured shaking hands and broadly smiling with President Trump before an Oval Office meeting in which discussions centered on Syria.
>The Russians also met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Jones said that 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 newly released information included a satellite photo of the snow-covered Sednaya complex with an L-shaped building labeled “probable 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.” In a photo taken Jan. 15, he said, “we’re look[ing] at snowmelt on the roof that would be consistent with a crematorium.”