London: Internet and telephone services have been restored in most parts of Syria after a two-day, nationwide communications blackout. Authorities had attributed the latest outage to a "terrorist" attack or a technical fault, but President Bashar al-Assad``s government has previously been accused of cutting internet and telephone connections to sabotage communication between opposition activists, reports the Guardian.
According to rebels, the blackout is likely a sign that Assad`s forces are due to launch a concerted offensive in the capital. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked monitor, said connectivity had returned to most provinces.
The Observatory also said Syrian jets bombed rebel-held areas of Damascus, namely the suburbs of Kafar Souseh and Darraya, on Saturday. "Syrian regular forces are trying to control the areas surrounding the capital and clashed with rebel fighters," a spokesperson said.
Activists also reported clashes and aerial strikes in the provinces of Homs, Deir al-Zor, Idlib and in Aleppo, where they said 14 rebels fighters were killed during an assault on an army base in the town of Khanasser. This week, the largely Sunni Muslim rebels have been making important gains across the country by overrunning military bases.
Clashes have been reported near the Aqraba and Babilla districts on the south-eastern outskirts of Damascus, which lead to the international airport.