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Syria Crisis: 'Apocalyptic Disaster,' Clapper Says

<p>James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, used strong words to describe the humanitarian crisis in Syria Tuesday.</p>
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The situation in Syria and the humanitarian crisis there are an "apocalyptic disaster," according to the Director of National Intelligence.

Asked about photos that recently surfaced that appear to show Syrian regime prisoners who have been tortured and murdered, Director James Clapper said that he has "no reason to doubt" that the photos are authentic, and that it is "difficult to imagine" that something of that magnitude could be fabricated.

Clapper said that the photos are "terrible," and said that when you factor in the humanitarian disaster and refugee crisis, "it's an apocalyptic disaster."

Clapper was testifying Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Responding to a question about the situation in Syria over the next six months or so, Clapper said that he believes it will remain at the status quo, and they are "facing a prolonged stalemate." He said that Syria is still receiving "external support" from Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

Asked by Sen. John McCain about prospects for meaningful development from the upcoming Geneva Conference on Syria, Clapper acknowledged that intelligence community expectations are "pretty modest" and that hope for a long-term political solution remains "problematic."