USA accuses Assad of mass atrocities at Syrian prison

"We are appalled by the atrocities taking place in Syria [with the] seemingly unconditional support of Russia", he said, adding that Moscow had "aided or passively looked away" while the Syrian government acted.

"Yesterday the U.S. administration pulled out a new Hollywood screenplay disconnected from reality, accusing the Syrian government of having, according to the administration, built a crematorium at the Saydnaya prison".

In its latest accusations of Syrian abuses, the State Department said it believed about 50 detainees each day are being hanged at Saydnaya military prison, about 45 minutes north of Damascus. The photos, taken over several years starting in 2013, do not prove the building is a crematorium, but show construction consistent with such a facility. "At this point, we are talking about this evidence and bringing it forward to the worldwide community, which we hope will put pressure on the regime to change its behaviour".

Along with the crematorium accusations, the source referred to the allegations of the government's use of "barrel bombs" and "chemical weapons" as calculated fabrications.

The civil war in Syria that has gone on since 2011 has claimed more than 400,000 lives and displaced millions of civilians. Beyond authorizing cruise missiles in response, however, he didn't outline a strategy to eliminate the threat.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Jonathan Greenblatt, the group's national director, also called on the global community, including Russian Federation, to take action to stop the violence perpetuated by the Syrian government under the leadership of President Bashar Assad. He didn't outline how such a future might become imaginable. The crematorium would be used to cover up the evidence, he said.

A former Syrian army colonel who joined the opposition said what the State Department revealed about Saydnaya "is not surprising".

An Israeli minister says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is to blame for the sufferings of the Arab state and should be assassinated, a day after the U.S. leveled fresh allegations against the Damascus government.

"New "sensational" and "declassified" United States revelations on the alleged "mass executions" in Syria and a crematorium at the Sednaya Prison near Damascus are not very trustworthy", Kosachev pointed out, who chairs the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs.

Information for this article was contributed by Karen DeYoung of The Washington Post and by Matthew Lee, Vivian Salama and Zeina Karam of The Associated Press.

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