Officials with the State Department say the Syrian government has constructed, and is using a crematorium at a military prison. Just a few hours later, the Washington Post broke the news that President Donald Trump revealed classified information when he met with Russian officials last week in the Oval Office.
For some perspective on these developments, the Texas Standard turns to University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs Professor Alan Kuperman.
Kuperman says news that Syria’s Assad regime is burning prisoner bodies after torturing and executing them is shocking.
“It is reminiscent of the Nazis in WWII,” Kuperman says. “We have to see if it is confirmed. I don’t think it’s going to change very much what we think of the regime and what we do about the regime.”
Kuperman is hesitant to make a connection between the release of information about the Syrian crematorium and allegations that Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials last week.
“There obviously is sensitivity within the Trump administration about accusations that it’s in bed with Russia, that it colluded with Russia,” Kuperman says. “We have investigations at the FBI and both the House and Senate and so I think there has been an attempt to claim that there’s distance between the Trump administration and Russia. Whether this disclosure about a crematorium in Syria is part of that PR effort, I simply don’t know.”