The Internet became inaccessible in war-torn Syria early Thursday morning, according to sites that monitor global Internet traffic.
None of Syria’s 84 Internet Protocol (IP) address blocks were responsive, which, according to communications security firm Renesys, “effectively [removes] the country from the Internet.” In total, 92% of Syria’s routed networks are down.
Akamai, which also monitors Internet traffic, published this chart clearly showing the drop-off in Internet traffic:
Several Twitter reports corroborated Renesys’ alert. Some Twitter users warned the Internet outage foretells an impending larger military action, but that has not yet been verified.
Syria is in the midst of civil war, with the opposition Free Syrian Army fighting the government of long-time leader Bashar al-Assad. The Internet has played a key role in the struggle as hackers aligned with both sides of the conflict have targeted websites owned by opposing forces.
The timing of the outage is also notable as the United Nations is scheduled to vote Thursday on Palestinian statehood.
A country-wide Internet outage was also seen in Egypt during the height of a 2011 revolution. That movement eventually resulted in the overthrow of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.