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US accuses Syria of mass killings in Sednaya military prison

A satellite view of part of the Sednaya prison complex near Damascus, Syria is seen in a still image from a video briefing provided by the U.S. State Department on May 15, 2017. Department of State/Handout via REUTERSFOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNSTHIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Washington: The United States has accused the Bashar al-Assad regime of carrying out mass killings of prisoners on a daily basis and then burning their bodies in a large crematorium inside its Sednaya military prison outside Damascus, Syria.

Acting assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, Stuart Jones, said that at least 50 prisoners a day are executed in the prison and then the crematorium is used to hide evidence of the extent of the mass killings, reports the VOA News.

Jones also accused Russia and Iran of indirectly backing this atrocity.

” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has carried out these atrocities and others seemingly with the unconditional support from Russia and Iran, his main backers,” he said in a special State Department briefing on Monday.

The information, he said, came from human rights and nonovernmental sources, as well as “intelligence assessments.” He also released overhead photographs of the facility.

Asked whether the U.S. is considering a new attack to destroy the crematorium, Jones said that as President Donald Trump has said, the U.S. is “not going to signal what we are going to do and what we’re not going to do. At this point, we are talking about this evidence and bringing it forward to the international community, which we hope will put pressure on this regime to change its behavior.”

Citing an Amnesty International report, Jones said that between 5,000 and 11,000 had died at the Saydnaya facility between 2011 and 2015.

He alleged that the Assad regime had detained between 65,000 and 117,000 people over the same four-year period. (ANI)