2 Dec 2012

Internet back on in Damascus but fighting continues

3:20 pm on 2 December 2012

People living in the Syrian capital, Damascus, say they are hearing the non-stop sound of fighter jets, military helicopters and explosions for a third day in succession.

A two-day communications blackout that had prevented Syrians from knowing what was happening across the country has now eased, as the internet has become accessible again in Damascus.

However, the BBC reports it's not clear how much internet access there is elsewhere.

The government says the Damascus airport has reopened but there are still reports of fighting in the area.

Many flights in and out of Damascus were cancelled on Thursday and Friday after heavy fighting on the main road to the airport, which is the country's busiest.

The UN Secretary General has decried the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, saying civilians were being massacred almost daily across the country while wide-scale human-rights violations were being committed by both sides.

Ban Ki-moon warned the UN General Assembly in New York that Syrian refugee numbers could swell to 700,000 by January.

He predicted that up to four million people would be in need of assistance during the winter as a consequence of ever more brutal violence.

His words were echoed by the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, who told the New York gathering that Syria would become a failed state unless a negotiated political solution to the conflict could be found.