A satellite image the US says shows a Syrian prison complex modified to support a crematorium. (AP: US State Department, DigitalGlobe)
The Syrian Government has denied US accusations that a crematorium had been built at one of its prisons that could be used to dispose of detainees’ remains.
A Foreign Ministry statement published by state news agency SANA said the US administration had come out with “a new Hollywood story detached from reality” by alleging the crematorium had been built at Sednaya military prison near Damascus.
The statement said the claims were “lies” that were being used to justify US “aggression and intervention”.
Stuart Jones, acting US assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, said US officials believed the crematorium could be used to dispose of bodies at a prison where they thought Mr Assad’s Government had authorised the hanging of thousands of inmates during Syria’s six-year-old civil war.
Between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years since a popular uprising descended into war, it said.
The Government also denied that accusation.
Amnesty said the executions took place between 2011 and 2015, but were probably still being carried out and amounted to war crimes.
In a briefing on Monday, Mr Jones showed aerial images of what he said was the crematorium at the Sednaya site.