The U.S. just made a disturbing discovery when it learned that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has built a crematorium at a large military prison outside the capital Damascus.
Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, told reporters that insiders believe the crematorium could be used to dispose of bodies at a prison where they believe Assad’s government authorized the mass hangings of thousands of inmates during Syria’s six-year-old civil war.
“Credible sources have believed that many of the bodies have been disposed in mass graves,” Jones said, according to Reuters. “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.”
Jones went on to say that he does not have high hopes about a Russia-brokered deal to set up “de-escalation zones” inside Syria. He was present when the deal was reached with support from Iran and Turkey during ceasefire talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana earlier this month.
“In light of the failures of the past ceasefire agreements, we have reason to be skeptical,” Jones said.
He also explained that Assad’s government had carried out air strikes, chemical attacks, extrajudicial killings, starvation, and other measures to target civilians and its opponents. He then slammed Russia and Iran for continuing to support Assad despite his tactics.
“These atrocities have been carried out seemingly with the unconditional support from Russia and Iran,” Jones said. “The (Assad) regime must stop all attacks on civilian and opposition forces. And Russia must bear responsibility to ensure regime compliance.”
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