Stuart Jones, the acting assistant US secretary of near eastern affairs, told reporters Monday, “We now believe that the Syrian regime has installed a crematorium in the Saydnaya Prison Complex which could dispose of detainees remains with little evidence.” He is executing as many as 50 people a day, according to newly declassified US intelligence. Jones added that the regime will put up to 70 prisoners in a cell designed to hold five people before they are killed.
Saydnaya Prison was branded a “human slaughterhouse” by Amnesty International, which estimates that as many as 13,000 people “were extra-judicially executed” between 2011 and 2015.
Jones detailed the information about Assad’s crematorium as part of a condemnation of Russia’s “apparent tolerance of Syrian atrocities” as they support Assad. “We hope that we will now be able to work with the Russians in a constructive way to put pressure on the regime to end these atrocities,” he said. “Russia holds tremendous influence over Bashar al-Assad,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Monday.