State department says it believes 50 detainees a day are being hanged at Saydnaya military prison, with many bodies burned in a crematorium
The US has accused the Syrian regime of building a crematorium to cover up the mass killings of detainees in a military prison outside Damascus.
The Department of State distributed photos on Monday of a large building it said had been adapted for the large-scale burning of bodies at Saydnaya military prison, 45 minutes drive from the Syrian capital, where it said that up to 50 detainees are hanged in mass executions on a daily basis.
Although the regimes many atrocities are well documented, we believed building a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass killings taking place in Saydnaya prison, said Stuart Jones, the top US diplomat dealing with the Middle East.
Jones distributed satellite images of Saydnaya prison, labelling the structure which the US alleges is the new crematorium. In February, Amnesty International published a report on what it described as a secret campaign of mass hangings and extermination at Saydnaya. The report said as many as 13,000 people had been hanged over the first five years of the war, in what it described as a human slaughterhouse. The regime is thought to have detained more than 100,000 people in jails and detention camps all over the country, where severe overcrowding, torture and summary executions are reported to be commonplace.