Monday, 23 July, 2018

US accuses Syria of mass executions, burning bodies

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura attends a meeting during Intra Syria talks at the U.N. in Geneva Switzerland Tuesday US accuses Syria of mass executions, burning bodies
Kenny Thornton | 16 May, 2017, 20:10

The world once again looked on in horror when last month a chemical attack killed at least 80 civilians, many of them children.

On Monday, the USA accused Syria of executing thousands of imprisoned political opponents and burning their bodies in a crematorium to hide the evidence.

One newly released image, a commercial satellite photograph dating back to January 2015, shows snow melting on the roof of a building attached to the Saydnaya military complex north of Damascus.

"We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place", said Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs.

Jones also accused Russian Federation and Iran of indirectly backing this atrocity.

Amnesty's report, Human Slaughterhouse, said prisoners are moved in the middle of the night from their cells under the pretext of being transferred.

The "photos underscore the depths to which the Syrian regime has gone with the support of ..."

"In light of the failures of the past cease-fire agreements, we have reason to be skeptical", Jones said. "At this point, we are talking about this evidence and bringing it forward to the global community, which we hope will put pressure on this regime to change its behavior".

Protest to save Dharna Chowk in Hyderabad turns violent
The Hyderabad police commissioner had earlier granted permission to both the groups to hold protests today at the "Dharna Chowk". Dharna chowk is a common place for staging dharnas by all political parties and social organisations since decades in Hyderabad.

On May 15, ahead of the Geneva peace talks aimed at trying to find a solution to the Syria conflict which has killed more than 320,000 people since it broke out more than six years ago, United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura said that the discussions in Switzerland should benefit from a tighter format - and the recent Astana agreement to create the de-escalation zone. His administration now says Assad can not bring long-term stability to Syria.

The U.S. claims roughly 50 prisoners are being hanged at the Saydnaya military prison every day. Now, the Trump administration is accusing the Syrian government of ordering mass killings of prisoners.

More than 400,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the Syrian war, according to United Nations estimates.

Assad's regime detained between 65,000 and 117,000 people over the same period, Jones said.

Still, Jones said the State Department has not presented its evidence of the alleged crematorium directly to Russian Federation - and he said it is not prepared to signal much else publicly. Given these abuses, "Russia must now with greater urgency exercise its influence", Jones said.

But he said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had raised concerns about Assad's brutality with Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrovm during the latter's visit to Washington last week.

Jones also showed photos of the crematorium during Monday's news briefing.

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