Syria’s inter­net ‘restored’ after black­out

Syria’s Inter­net appeared to have been restored on Wednes­day after­noon after a two-​day black­out, res­i­dents and state media said.

The black­out was blamed by state media on a tech­ni­cal fault, but activists and a watch­dog accused the régime of delib­er­at­ing cut­ting the con­nec­tion to shield mil­i­tary operations.

 

In a break­ing news alert, Syr­ian state tele­vi­sion announced inter­net and com­mu­ni­ca­tions were back up and running.

Land­line phone ser­vices between Syr­ian provinces had also been down since Tues­day, state news agency SANA said.

U.S. tech firms and the U.S. State Depart­ment reported the black­out on Tues­day but did not spec­ify any rea­sons for it. A sim­i­lar black­out hap­pened last November.

“Inter­net ser­vices and phone calls between provinces were cut off Tues­day evening because of a fault in opti­cal fiber cables,” SANA said before ser­vice was restored.

“Efforts are ongo­ing to fix the faults and to bring Inter­net and tele­phone ser­vices back up as soon as pos­si­ble,” the agency said quot­ing a com­mu­ni­ca­tions offi­cial.

Activists who fre­quently use the Inter­net to report on vio­lence engulf­ing their coun­try blamed the author­i­ties for the blackout.

“Even satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tion devices” used by many anti-​régime activists to avoid sur­veil­lance “have been slow,” a Syr­ian activist cur­rently out of his coun­try told AFP’s Beirut bureau.

“I think the régime has a plan to stage some kind of attack. That’s what hap­pens every time Inter­net goes down,” said the activist, an Inter­net expert who iden­ti­fied him­self as Fares.

The Syr­ian Obser­va­tory for Human Rights said the black­out appeared to be a delib­er­ate cut to help régime forces car­ry­ing out mil­i­tary operations.

Syria is ranked 176 out of 179 coun­tries in a world­wide press free­dom index com­piled by inter­na­tional press free­dom watch­dog Reporters With­out Bor­ders (RSF).

Source: AFP

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