Washington (CNN)The US said Monday it believes the Syrian government has built a large crematorium near the notorious Saydnaya Military Prison in an effort to hide mass atrocities carried out there, and placed the onus on Russia to rein in the regime.
Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, laid out newly unveiled declassified intelligence in a series of photographs and said Russia, a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, must use its influence to stop Assad’s continued atrocities.
“Although the regime’s many atrocities are well-documented, we believe the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass atrocities taking place in Saydnaya prison,” Jones said. “We are appalled by the atrocities taking place in Syria” with the “seemingly unconditional support of Russia.”
Jones said the regime could be killing as many as 50 detainees a day at Saydnaya. In February, Amnesty International alleged that thousands of people have been hanged at the Syrian prison just 45 minutes outside the capital of Damascus in a secret