Syria's Internet appeared to have been restored on Wednesday afternoon after a two-day blackout, residents and state media said.
(Also see: Syria cut off from global Internet as civil war rages)
media blamed the blackout on a technical fault but activists and a
watchdog accused the regime of deliberating cutting the connection to
shield military operations.
In a breaking news alert, Syrian state television announced the 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.
tech firms and the US State Department reported the blackout on Tuesday
but did not specify any reasons for it. A similar blackout happened
"Internet services and phone calls between
provinces were cut off Tuesday evening because of a fault in optical
fibre cables," SANA said before service was restored.
ongoing to fix the faults and to bring Internet and telephone services
back up as soon as possible," the agency said, quoting a communications
Activists who frequently use the Internet to report on violence engulfing their country blamed the authorities for the blackout.
satellite communication devices" used by many anti-regime activists to
avoid surveillance "have been slow," a Syrian activist currently out of
his country told AFP's Beirut bureau.
"I think the regime 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 act to help regime
forces carrying out military operations.
The United States also voiced concern.
condemn any effort by any group to restrict or eliminate the Syrian
people's access to information and communications of any kinds," Patrick
Ventrell, the deputy State Department spokesman, said in Washington.
shutdowns are hard to attribute to one side or the other, and technical
groups are analyzing them. But the regime has a history of restricting
the Internet in a range of ways to prevent the Syrian people from
accessing and sharing information."
Syria is ranked 176 out of 179
countries in a worldwide press freedom index compiled by international
press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).