Syrian Internet down for 2nd time in 2 weeks

5/15/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Mideast-Syria-295

This image taken from video obtained from Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a rocket fired by Syrian rebels at Mannagh air base in Aleppo province, Syria, Monday, May 13, 2013. The Syrian government wants more details before deciding whether to take part in a proposed U.S.-Russian initiative to negotiate a peaceful end to Syria's crisis, the country's information minister said, staking out a similar position to the main opposition group.(AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEIRUT  — Syrian residents and a U.S. Internet monitoring company say Syria is experiencing a nationwide Internet outage. It is the second such blackout in two weeks.

The U.S.-based Renesys Corp. says Syria went offline early today at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Syrian government websites, including the SANA state news agency, appeared to be down as well. But SANA reported on its twitter account a technical problem. It said maintenance units were working to restore the Internet as soon as possible. It did not elaborate.

Syrian authorities have cut phone and Internet service in select areas in the past to disrupt rebel communications when regime forces were conducting major operations.

Such widespread outages, however, have been rare. The reason for the May 7 outage is still unclear.