updated 11:50 am EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Internet, telecommunications disrupted as fighting escalates
Syria is cut off from the Internet, according to an access monitoring firm, in what is being seen as a bid for censorship by the local government. All 84 of Syria's IP address blocks are currently unreachable, "effectively removing the country from the Internet," and appears to be linked to the current battle between the country's armed forces and Syrian rebels.
Monitoring firm Renesys noted the outage, where network usage sharply declined shortly before 10:30am UTC, suggesting that it was cut off on purpose. This mirrors another countrywide disconnection last June, where the government-mandated blackout was meant to prevent protesters from organizing rallies and riots. Reuters is reporting that mobile and landlines are also being affected and are said to be working "sporadically," while activists are turning to satellite phones to communicate beyond the border.
Fighting between the two sides have apparently taken place on the road to Damascus airport, and are apparently more intense than at any other point in the conflict so far. The lack of access has forced Emirates airline to suspend all flights to the airport "until further notice," while a plane from Egypt Air arrived at the Damascus airport safely, with orders to evacuate without passengers if the situation escalates further.