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Syria's Internet and telephone lines cut off

The Internet and mobile phone connections have been cut off in Syria, US-based Internet monitoring firms have revealed.

According to the BBC, monitoring firm Renesys, a company which tracks Internet traffic worldwide, said that Internet connectivity shut down completely in the Syrian capital Damascus around 12:30 Eastern European Time (10:30 GMT) today.

Another company, Akamai Technologies, also confirmed the outage.

"In the global routing table, all 84 of Syria's IP address blocks have become unreachable. Effectively removing the country from the internet," said Renesys in a blog post.

The Syrian government has previously cut off access during major military operations

Activists in and around the capital have also reported that landlines and mobile phone signals have been cut in several neighbourhoods.

The Guardian has reported that elsewhere in the capital warplanes have bombed the neighbourhoods of Kafr Souseh and Daraya, where rebels have managed to hide out and ambush army units.

There are also reports that the last two weeks have seen military gains by rebels who have stormed and taken army bases across Syria, despite Assad using air power to aggressively bombard opposition strongholds.

Image Credit: Flickr (FreedomHouse)