US accuses Syria of mass executions and burning the bodies




  • In World
  • 2017-05-15 17:54:08Z
  • By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration accused the Syrian government Monday of carrying out mass killings of thousands of prisoners and burning the bodies in a large crematorium outside the capital. It also stepped up criticism of Iran and Russia for supporting the Syrian government.

The allegation came as President Donald Trump is weighing options in Syria, where the U.S. attacked a government air base last month in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians.

But Trump hasn't outlined a larger strategy for ending the Arab country's civil war or ushering Syrian President Bashar Assad out of power. These questions were sure to arise in his meeting at the White House with the United Arab Emirates' crown prince Monday, a day before Turkey's president arrives.

The State Department said it believed that about 50 detainees a day are being hanged at Saydnaya military prison, about 45 minutes north of Damascus. Many of the bodies, it said, are then burned in the crematorium.

"We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place," said Stuart Jones, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, in accusing the Syrian government of sinking "to a new level of depravity."

The department released commercial satellite photographs showing what it described as a building in the prison complex that was modified to support the crematorium. The photographs, taken over the course of several years, beginning in 2013, do not definitely prove the building is a crematorium, but they show construction consistent with such use.

In presenting the photographs, Jones called on Russia and Iran to press Assad's government to establish a credible cease-fire with Syrian rebel groups and begin negotiations on a political settlement.

"We are appalled by the atrocities that have been carried out by the Syrian regime and these atrocities have been carried out seemingly with the unconditional support from Russia and Iran," Jones said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been "firm and clear" in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week that "Russia holds tremendous influence over Bashar al-Assad."

A main point of that meeting "was telling Russia to use its power to rein in the regime," she said. "Simply put, the killing, the devastation has gone on for far too long in Syria."

The war has killed as many as 400,000 people since 2011. It has contributed to Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II and enabled the Islamic State group to emerge as a global terrorism threat.

Trump travels to the Middle East later this week on his first official foreign trip.

COMMENTS

More Related News

US bans travel for Americans to NKorea after Warmbier death
US bans travel for Americans to NKorea after Warmbier death
  • World
  • 2017-07-21 20:37:15Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - American citizens will be barred by the U.S. from traveling to North Korea beginning next month following a prohibition on using U.S. passports to enter the country, the State Department said Friday.

Layoffs begin at Carrier plant that drew Trump
Layoffs begin at Carrier plant that drew Trump's criticism

More than 300 Carrier Corp. workers were being laid off Thursday from the company's Indianapolis factory as part of an outsourcing of jobs to Mexico that drew criticism last year from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. The nearly 340 workers clocked out after their final shifts at Carrier's gas furnace factory. Carrier announced in February 2016 that it would close the Indianapolis plant and cut about 1,400 production jobs in a move expected to save $65 million annually by moving furnace production to Mexico.

Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions

The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year's election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump's businesses as well ...

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to testify next week before Senate panel
Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to testify next week before Senate panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will testify on July 26 before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel said in a statement on Wednesday. Trump Jr. and Manafort are expected to be questioned about

Justices allow strict refugee ban but say grandparents OK
Justices allow strict refugee ban but say grandparents OK

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says the Trump administration can strictly enforce its ban on refugees, but at the same time is leaving in place a weakened travel ban that includes grandparents among relatives who can help visitors from six mostly Muslim countries get into the U.S.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.