Conflict & Justice

Syria back online after two-day blackout


Syrian rebels celebrate on top of the remains of a Syrian government fighter jet which was shot down at Daret Ezza, on the border between the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, on November 28, 2012. Syrian rebels captured a pilot manning the fighter jet downed over Daret Ezza in the northern province of Aleppo, witnesses told an AFP reporter in the town.



Syria is back online after a two-day national communications blackout.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Internet access had returned Saturday as they received dispatches from Damascus, Homs, Hama, Aleppo, and areas along the coast. An Associated Press reporter in Damascus also confirmed that they were able to log online.  

Both the government and rebel forces blamed each other for cutting communication lines Thursday and causing the blackout.

Experts blamed Assad for the outage, noting that his government has been accused of cutting Internet and telephone access several times since the uprising in Syria began, Agence France Presse reported

Either way, it made it increasingly difficult to know what was going on on the ground, as the only signs of fighting were clouds of smoke and the non-stop sound of fighter jets, military helicopters and explosions, especially in the south-eastern area of the city near the airport, BBC News reported

Helicopter gunships and MiG warplanes were also heard bombarding rebel-held areas, according to BBC. 

Several flights into and out of the country had also been canceled. 

Hackers' collective Anonymous fought back against the blackout, taking several government websites including Syrian Railways, the Syrian parliament, Syrian TV and the Syrian Embassy in China offline in response, Voice of Russia reported

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that there could be as many as 700,000 Syrian refugees by January, BBC reported. Activists report that over 40,000 people have been killed since March 2011.

More from GlobalPost: OpSyria: Anonymous declares cyberwar on Syrian government for taking Syria offline

[View the story "Communications blackout lifted in Damascus, other cities" on Storify]