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Russian senator rips US claims of ‘Syrian mass executions’ as ploy to torpedo peace talks

The US Department of State said on May 15 it has evidence that up to 50 prisoners have been killed in Syria’s Sednaya Prison complex daily

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. New ‘sensational’ statements churned out by Washington about mass executions of prisoners in Syria are not trustworthy and are aimed at boycotting the peace process in the war-torn country, Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev told reporters on Tuesday.

The US Department of State said on Monday it has evidence that as many as 50 prisoners were allegedly executed in Syria’s Sednaya Prison complex and their bodies were burnt in a specially-built crematorium to ‘cover up’ the mass killing. On Tuesday, Geneva is hosting the sixth round of intra-Syrian talks, which began with a meeting by UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and a delegation from the Assad administration.

"New ‘sensational’ and ‘declassified’ US 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.

"Now, when an absolutely new phase in the Geneva talks (held without the US) is around the corner, the Americans apparently try to once again shift attention to the ‘Assad regime,’ undermining the peace process, wishing this or not," said Kosachev, who also heads a working group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union on Syria.

The senator said Damascus’ opponents need some ‘sensationalism’ to evade talks in the Swiss city of Geneva and in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. "But then the US should understand that it bears a hefty responsibility for the future of the peace process in Syria," he said.