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US State Dept. Accuses Syrian Government of Covering up ‘Mass Executions’

Damascus (GPA– In yet another Western smear campaign, the US State Department released “proof” today that the Syrian government is allegedly carrying out mass murders and cremating bodies to hide their crimes.

In a move similar to the photos presented by the US government in 2003 of “chemical weapons facilities” in Iraq, the State Department presented satellite pictures of what they claim is a gigantic crematorium. Apparently this crematorium is being used to cover up the “50 hangings a day” being carried out at the now infamous Saydnaya military prison.

The photos were presented by senior State Department Middle East diplomat Stuart Jones. According to Jones, the photos are just the latest evidence of Bashar Al-Assad’s many “well documented atrocities.” Jones of course presented the photos as irrefutable evidence.

Image Credit: CC Flickr Pete Riches

Saydnaya prison first came to the front of the anti-Assad media campaign a few months ago when Amnesty International first floated the “50 killings a day” number. This report was debunked by multiple sources and anyone with common sense based on Amnesty’s own methodology, which basically boiled down to “one prisoner said 50 people a day were killed and we multiplied that by days that the conflict in Syria has been going on.” Although Amnesty has carried out some investigations in the past with actual personnel on the ground, even they admitted that they had been denied access to Syria’s prisons before leveling this accusation.

This new photographic evidence is just as unconvincing as Amnesty’s previous report. The photos argue that a building connected to the prison is undoubtedly a crematorium based on exterior features that the State Department has labeled in the photos as things like “discharge stacks” and a “probable firewall.” The term “probable” anything in photos being presented as indisputable evidence should be troubling enough upon just a surface examination.

The timing of the release of these photos is suspicious since there are several major events surrounding Syria slated to take place in the next week. One important event is the international talks on Syria slated to begin in Geneva this week as well as US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel. Most importantly of course is a meeting scheduled for tomorrow between Trump and notorious enemy of the Syrian government, Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Related: Trump Plans First Foreign Visits…To Saudi Arabia And Israel

Once again this seems like another intentionally timed release of ‘evidence’ against Assad by Western powers on the eve of events that could lead to major developments in the six year long conflict in Syria.

The new photos are also already being used as slander against Russia who Jones says “has either aided in or passively looked away” as Assad has committed mass murder. This comes after comments made to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by  US Secretary of State that “Russia must now, with great urgency, exercise its great influence over the Syrian regime,” showing that Washington is still making a concerted effort to get Moscow to betray one of their closest allies in the Middle East.

It’s clear that Jones harsh comments towards Russia are an attempt by Washington to subvert the influence of the most influential foreign actor in Syria on the eve of what is arguably the most important round of negotiations concerning the future of Syria. Now is not the time for any nation to sabotage any efforts to end over a half decade of conflict in Syria and Washington clearly knows exactly what they’re doing. The next thing to watch will be tomorrow’s meeting with sultan Erdogan at the White House.