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Syrian Internet access cut off

Internet activity in Syria dropped off sharply on Tuesday evening, according to various sources.

Internet monitoring firm Renesys tweeted that it confirmed a "loss of Syrian Internet connectivity 18:43 UTC. BGP routes down, inbound traces failing."

Google later tweeted "Google services inaccessible in Syria," with a link to its Transparency Report, which showed a complete drop in activity from the region.

In a blog post, Umbrella Security Labs said that just before 19:00 GMT, "OpenDNS resolvers saw a significant drop in traffic from Syria. On closer inspection it seems Syria has largely disappeared from the Internet."

"Effectively, the shutdown disconnects Syria from Internet communication with the rest of the world," Umbrella FTO Dan Hubbard wrote. "It's unclear whether Internet communication within Syria is still available. Although we can't yet comment on what caused this outage, past incidents were linked to both government-ordered shutdowns and damage to the infrastructure, which included fiber cuts and power outages."

The shutdown comes in the wake of reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons in the region, and Israeli military strikes near Damascus.

This is not the first time Internet access has been cut off in Syria. It went down in November 2012, as well as June 2011 amidst protests, and again the following month.

Syria is also no stranger to Internet outages and blockades of popular websites like Facebook and YouTube.