Syria's internet back amid strife

The internet in Syria is now working, say residents, as fighting between government and rebel fighters continues around Damascus.

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Syrian opposition close to appointing transition PM

Riad Hijab
Riad Hijab defected from President Assad's Baath Party in August. Credit: REUTERS/Majed Jaber

Syria's new opposition coalition have edged closer towards choosing a prime minister to lead a transitional government.

Former Prime Minister Riad Hijab is the strongest candidate for the job, delegates said after three days of talks in Cairo that furthered the dominance of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr Hijab, who has the backing of Jordan and Gulf states, was a longtime loyalist in President Assad's Baath Party before defecting in August.

Coalition insiders said he is likely to be chosen before or during a gathering in mid-December of the Friends of Syria.

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Google promotes Speak2Tweet for Syrians disconnected from internet

Google has promoted its Speak2Tweet service with Twitter, allowing people to leave voice messages on Twitter as a way to get around the internet blackout in Syria.

In a post on its Google+ page, Google said:

A little less than two years ago, when Internet access was cut off in Egypt, we worked with Twitter to launch Speak2Tweet, giving the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.

In the last day, Internet access has been completely cut off in Syria. Unfortunately we are hearing reports that mobile phones and landlines aren’t working properly either. But those who might be lucky enough to have a voice connection can still use Speak2Tweet.

– Google

UN: Syrian refugees 'targeted as they fled shelling'

Residents flee their homes due to shelling at Houla, near Homs on November 18
Residents flee their homes due to shelling at Houla, near Homs on November 18 Credit: Reuters

The UN's refugee agency said it found conditions in the Syrian city of Homs "desperate" as thousands of people are living in unheated shelters and a quarter of a million people have been displaced from their homes.

UN spokeswoman Melissa Flemming also said Syrian refugees in Jordan reported being fired at as they attempted to flee shelling by Assad's troops. She said:

"We have received very disturbing reports from Syrian refugees in Jordan who say they were targeted as they were fleeing. UNHCR calls on all sides to ensure that at least civilians have access to safe passage outside the country."

Listen to her full account here.

Syria: Internet cut spreads fear and isolation

ITV News spoke to an activist from the Syrian Network for Human Rights inside the Damascus who said he fears the government has cut off the internet as they are preparing for "more massacres."

The activist, who spoke to ITV News via satellite phone, said the cuts to communications have made people feel scared and isolated. He said people were worried about getting supplies in the cold, as well as not being able to contact the rest of the world.

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