Syria Internet Taken Down, Fighting Intensifies

There are reports circulating that the Syrian government blocked access to the internet on Thursday morning as fighting intensifies throughout the country.

The country which has been in a bloody civil war for more than a year, lost internet connection around noon local time in the capital of Damascus, according to research firm Renesys, which tracks global internet data.

"In the global routing table, all 84 of Syria's IP address blocks have become unreachable, effectively removing the country from the Internet," read a post on Renesys company blog.

After such an action, all internet traffic coming into and going out of the country is shut down, severely crippling communications.

This is a common tactic that has been deployed in other conflicts around the region. During the Arab Spring uprisings in early 2011, the Egyptian government severely restricted access to the internet at one point.

There were also reports of cell phone networks and even land lines that were down in parts in and around the county's capital.

"The government has previously cut phone lines and Internet access in areas where regime forces are conducting major military operations," according to AP.

Akamai Technologies Inc., another U.S-based company that distributes content on the Internet, also confirmed a complete outage for Syria.

The fighting has become so severe that the airport in Damascus has been shut down, meaning flights both in and out of the capital have been canceled.

"Rebels and activists said the fighting along the road to Damascus airport, southeast of the capital, was heavier in that area than at any other time in the conflict," reported Reuters. Dubai-based Emirates airline have suspended flights into Damascus, confirming the report.

The revolt in Syria began with peaceful protests but turned into a civil war after the government waged a brutal crackdown on dissent. Activists say more than 40,000 people have been killed.

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