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Stuart Jones; Syrian conflict
Washington

Fake news: Syria is burning bodies to hide proof of mass killings

The US State Department has alleged that 50 detainees are being hanged each day at Syria's Saydnaya military prison, about 45 minutes north of Damascus.

Published: May 17, 2017, 2:48 pm

    Many of the bodies are then “burned in the crematorium to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place”, according to Stuart Jones, the top US diplomat for the Middle East.

    Jones added that Assad’s government was sinking “to a new level of depravity”, but it seems that the “evidence” that Jones had compiled is completely fake.

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

    If there was a crematorium being build in the Saydnaya prison how is it that none of the Amnesty witnesses in the recent Amnesty report noticed the construction? These witnesses, Amnesty claims, have been in that prison and observed all kind of obscure details. They also actuallly claimed that the dead were buried in mass graves and not cremated.

    A Dutch military expert has dismissed the “evidence” by Jones and the US State Department as “joke”. He noted that on the commercial satellite pictures and the interpretation provided, that it made no sense because the so-called crematorium “vents” had been there before the purported construction.

    Another reconnaissance specialist expanded on Grant’s dismissal:

    Only a day after the top US diplomat for the Middle East had advanced his “crematorium” allegations, colleagues reported that he has decided to “retire”. Three US officials confirmed on Tuesday, that Jones was the latest senior US diplomat to leave the Trump administration.

    Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, had served in the Middle East as US ambassador to Iraq and Jordan and as deputy chief of mission in Cairo.

    Jones, 57, told colleagues the decision was his own and “that he had not been pushed out or asked to leave the department”. But a day ago, Jones had made the far-fetched claims about Syrian human rights abuses: “We now believe that the Syrian regime has installed a crematorium in the Sednaya prison complex which could dispose of detainees’ remains with little evidence,” Jones had told Reuters.

    The State Department has no evidence for its “crematorium claim”. The Amnesty report does not say anything about a crematorium at the prison either and neither do the satellite pictures provided by the State Department show what the State Department claims.

    Blogger Moon of Alabama noted that Jones had been “throwing dirt at the Syria government in the hope that some of it will stick”. Jones probably had hoped that the release of these fabrications would create some headlines in Neocon interventionist “outrage” publications. It may have been propaganda in preparation for a wider war on Syria.

    Amnesty International, which acts as a NATO propaganda tool, reported in February that an average of 20 to 50 people “were hanged each week” at the Sednaya military prison north of Damascus. Between 5 000 and 13 000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years since a popular uprising descended into war, it has claimed.

    Jones also said he was “not optimistic” about a Russia-brokered deal to set up “de-escalation zones” inside Syria. The deal was reached with support from Iran and Turkey during ceasefire talks in Astana, Kazachstan, earlier this month and largely hailed as a step towards peace. Jones attended the talks.

    Back in February Amnesty International issued a sensationalist report about alleged killings in Syrian prisons, based on hearsay of anonymous people outside of Syria. The numbers put forward in the report did not add up.

    The State Department used the AI fake report together with wrongly interpreted satellite images to cast the Syrian secular government in a bad light.

    The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) meanwhile launched an important military operation in the East Ghouta region of Damascus last night, targeting the town of Beit Nayem that is under the control of Jaysh Al-Islam.

    Led by the 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard, the Syrian Arab Army captured at least four outposts from the Jaysh Al-Islam militants defending the town.

    According to Al-Masdar’s Damascus field correspondent, Ibrahim Joudeh, the Syrian Arab Army entered Beit Nayem from the south. The capture would put the SAA in position to strike the important town of Autaya, which is located north of this area in the East Ghouta.

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