While the U.S. media has been preoccupied covering the myriad developments relating to the scandal-ridden White House, one recent news story did not receive as much attention as it deserved.
The U.S. State Department has released information detailing the existence of a crematorium constructed at a base belonging to pro-Assad forces outside of Damascus. U.S. officials claim that its function is to burn the bodies of political prisoners murdered extrajudicially.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry hotly contested the claim, stating that “U.S. administrations continue fabricating lies and allegations to justify their aggressive and interventionist policies.”
U.S. officials, however, claim to posses data gathered by dozens of non-governmental organizations, along with ariel photographs and anecdotal evidence that paint a disturbing profile of Assad’s government, which has used chemical weapons against its own people and has indiscriminately bombed civilian centers.
Stuart Jones of Near East affairs discusses the State Department’s report on the crematorium:
“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 mass murders taking place in Saydnaya prison.”
Amnesty International has called the prison complex a “Human Slaughterhouse.” Estimates of the compound’s daily execution totals reach as high as 50 political prisoners. Since the start of Syria’s civil war, as many as 117,000 people may have been abducted by the Assad government and housed in the prison.