US Releases New Declassified Info on Damascus' Alleged Actions Against Civilians
18:59 15.05.2017(updated 19:56 15.05.2017)
The US Department of State has released newly declassified information regarding the alleged treatment of civilians by the Syrian government.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones claimed Syrian President Bashar Assad's government treated unarmed civilians the same as opposition militants.
"Today we are releasing newly declassified reporting and photos that underscore the depths to which the Syrian regime has gone with the continued support of its allies with Russia and Iran," Jones told reporters.
The US authorities have not shared the newly declassified evidence of the Syrian government's mistreatment of civilians with Russia, Stuart Jones said during a press conference.
"I have not presented this particular evidence to the Russians," Jones in a press conference.
Jones noted that the United States is bringing these documents to international community to put pressure on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
In the report, the US State Department accused Damascus of installing a crematorium in the Sednaya prison to dispose of the detainees' bodies.
"Many of the bodies have been disposed in mass graves," Jones claimed. "Syrian regime has installed the crematorium in Sednaya prison complex."
Jones continued, "The building of crematorium is an effort to cover up an extent of mass murders in Sednaya prison."
Moreover, Washington claimed Russia must bear responsibility to ensure Syria's compliance with the de-escalation zones agreement.
"It was agreed to create de-escalation zones that would reduce violence and save lives. In light of previous agreements, we have reasons to be skeptical," Jones stated. "Russia must bear responsibility to ensure Syria's compliance."
Representatives of the countries-guarantors of the truce in Syria (Russia, Iran, Turkey) signed on May 4 a memorandum on the creation of four zones of de-escalation in Syria, which include the province of Idlib and seven other regions. According to the memorandum, any clashes between the government forces and opposition armed groups must stop within the zones.
The memorandum on these de-escalation zones took effect on May 6.
The agreement between Moscow, Tehran and Ankara presumes the cessation of airstrikes and combat actions between the Syrian Army and militants who have already joined or will join the ceasefire regime, according to Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy.
The deal was discussed earlier this week during talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi.
Interestingly, this is not the first time the US has been sidelined from Russian-backed efforts to help stop bloodshed in Syria after numerous failures of Syria ceasefire deals brokered previously by Moscow and the former US administration.