US accuses Syria of mass executions and burning the bodies

The United States on Monday accused the Syrian regime of installing a prison crematorium to destroy the remains of thousands of murdered detainees, piling pressure on Russian Federation to rein in its ally.

The US Department of State said about 50 prisoners a day are being hanged in the military prison of Saydnaya, about 45 minutes from Damascus. "Credible sources have believed that numerous bodies have been disposed of in mass graves".

"We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Saydnaya prison", said Jones.

The Trump administration, which distributed new satellite images to the press, says the regime modified a building on its Saydnaya prison complex into a crematorium in 2013. Assessment of the facility, he said, included the presence of "the discharge stack, the probable firewall, the probable air intake - this is in the construction phase - this would be consistent if they were building a crematorium".

The latest satellite photograph presented by Jones dated to January 2015, more than two years ago, and it was not immediately clear why the United States waited to present its evidence.

The United States accused Syria on Monday of executing thousands of imprisoned political opponents and burning their bodies in a crematorium to hide the evidence.

"Credible sources have believed that numerous bodies have been disposed in mass graves", acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones said. Asma al-Assad has British roots, wears designer fashion, worked for years in banking, and is married to the dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has killed over 5,000 civilians and hundreds of children this year. The deal was brokered by Russian Federation with support from Iran and Turkey during talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, last week.

"The facts we're presenting today are based on reporting from worldwide and local non-governmental organisations, press reporting and also intelligence community assessments".

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura, speaking to reporters in Geneva on May 15, said he was glad to see the new U.S. administration get more involved in Syrian peace efforts. "But in order for us to work together to bring an end to the violence in Syria, Russia and Iran need to acknowledge the atrocities of the Assad regime and use their influence to stop them".

Most political prisoners said they had been held in the Red Building, a facility the regime largely emptied of mostly Islamist and jihadist prisoners in the early months of the anti-Assad uprising that began in early 2011.

But relations with Moscow, already dire under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, have not improved and Assad has continued to bombard civilian areas in his battle with opposition rebels.

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