Assad regime: US claims about Damascus prison crematorium ‘unfounded and disconnected from reality’


Saydnaya military prison, Damascus, Syria

US claims that Syria’s regime is using a prison crematorium to destroy the remains of thousands of murdered detainees are “unfounded and disconnected from reality”, Damascus said on Tuesday.

“These allegations are totally unfounded, they are nothing but the product of the imagination of this administration and its agents,” state news agency SANA quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

“Successive US administrations have repeatedly fabricated lies and allegations to justify their aggressive and interventionist policies in other sovereign countries,” the ministry said.

“Yesterday the US administration pulled out a new Hollywood screenplay disconnected from reality, accusing the Syrian government of having, according to the administration, built a crematorium at the Saydnaya prison.”

The State Department on Monday released satellite images that it said backed up reports of mass killings at the Syrian jail north of Damascus.

“Beginning in 2013, the Syrian regime modified a building within the Saydnaya complex to support what we believe is a crematorium” built in “an effort to cover up the extent of the mass murders taking place in Saydnaya,” said Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary for the state department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

The US administration has accused the Syrian government of installing a crematorium in a military prison in order to destroy the remains of thousands of murdered prisoners. Jones gave reporters satellite pictures apparently showing snow melting on the roof of the facility.

“Although the regime’s many atrocities are well documented, we believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of the mass murders taking place in Saydnaya.”

Jones said the information came from credible humanitarian agencies and from the US “intelligence community” and that as many as 50 people per day are thought to be hanged at Saydnaya.

President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government, he alleged, had detained between 65,000 and 117,000 people over the same period.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that the “Assad regime has sunk to a new level of depravity”.

Spicer said the government in Damascus had done so “with seemingly unconditional support from Russia and Iran”.

Syria’s war, now in its seventh year, has killed nearly half-a-million people and displaced more than half of the country’s pre-war population.


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