Wednesday, May 17, 2017

IslamoFascism in Syria

"We are appalled by the atrocities that have been carried out by the Syrian regime."
"[The Assad regime has] modified a building within the Sednaya [prison] complex to support what we believe is a crematorium [to enable it to dispose of bodies] with little evidence [of their crimes]."
“At this point, we are talking about this evidence and bringing it forward to the international community, which we hope will put pressure on the regime to change its behavior.”
"[One satellite photograph from 2015 taken in winter shows buildings snow-covered but for one] That would be consistent with a crematorium [heat source]."
"Although the regime’s many atrocities are well documented, we believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Sednaya prison."
"[...] We have an ongoing conversation with the Russians talking about the problem that their failure to condemn Syrian atrocities and their apparent tolerance of Syrian atrocities has created."
"These atrocities have been carried out seemingly with the unconditional support from Russia and Iran. The [Assad] regime must stop all attacks on civilian and opposition forces. And Russia must bear responsibility to ensure regime compliance."
Stuart Jones, acting U.S. assistant secretary of state, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. State Department
A satellite view of part of the Sednaya prison complex near Damascus, Syria. Department of State/via REUTERS

According to narratives from Syrians, they either witnessed bodies being burned or could smell odours that seemed as though bodies were being incinerated. A few of the Syrians who came forward to inform news outlets of their suspicions, an unpleasant odour like burning hair close to prison or military facilities alerted them to the possibility that the Syrian regime had been undertaking a studied approach to shielding their crimes in killing prisoners by disposing of their bodies, leaving no trace of their whereabouts and disposition.
 
Detainees formerly at the Mezze air base located on the outskirts of Damascus discussed having witnessed bodies being burned. And people who lived nearby the government facility had noticed an odour they linked to burning hair, leaving them uncertain whether it was from animals being slaughtered, like chicken feathers or sheep's wool, not necessarily linked to human bodies being disposed through incineration. People speaking to the news media did so anonymously, not wishing to give their family names, fearing government reprisals.

In quotes | World leaders on Assad's regime in Syria

Theresa May: “The atrocious violence that is being shown against civilians in Syria is at the hands of the Assad regime, and no one should forget that ”
Barack Obama: “When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs”
Donald Trump: "“Assad is bad. Maybe [the opposition] could be worse”
Vladimir Putin: “It is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces who are valiantly fighting terrorism””
François Hollande: “You can’t put together victims and the people who are killing them. Assad is at the origin of the problem, he cannot be part of the solution”
But one man spoke of his displacement from a suburb of Damascus, while living in the Mezze district a few years earlier, when he often saw black smoke rising to the sky, smelling what he identified as burning tires, alongside other odours he was unable to identify. Now, the U.S. State Department has charged the Assad regime of yet another war crime, reminiscent of the Nazi regime during World War Two, when inmates of concentration camps, mostly Jews, were gassed to death, young and old, and their bodies incinerated in huge crematoria, whose chimneys forever belched black smoke and the odour of burning flesh covered the countryside.

People living in nearby towns in Poland and wherever else the extermination camps were located throughout Europe became accustomed to the constant smell of burning human flesh. It is a distinctive odour, and one that people most frequently instantly recognize. At the prison located some 45 minutes outside of the capital Damascus the regime appears to have built a crematorium it would seem, so that its extrajudicial killings of tens of thousands of detainees could be furtively disposed of.

Through the medium of mass hangings, with up to 50 detainees daily being killed at Sednaya prison alone, the mechanical work of disposing of bodies appears to have gone on apace over a period of years. The Satellite photographs were taken by non-governmental organizations, media and intelligence community assessments, all converging to speak of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's additional deadly actions committed against Syrian civilians. 

Now, with allegations of gas cylinder attacks against civilian populations in Syria and additional information leading to accusations of mass killings and crematoria, Syria looks more than ever like a  reprise of Nazi Germany.

Back in February, Amnesty International claimed the Syrian regime had executed some 13,000 prisoners in mass hangings, and used systematic torture at that same military institution. Amnesty claimed though the executions had  taken place between 2011 and 2015, it was convinced they were still being carried out, as war crimes, calling for the United Nations to carry out a further investigation. 

Unsurprisingly, those accusations of torture and extrajudicial killings have all been summarily set aside as propaganda by the Assad regime.

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