Today different sources announced that Syrian authorities have blocked Internet and cellphone access in Damascus. The government has done this before in areas where government forces are conducting “major military operations”. According to the US ambassador to Syria, “communication gear” has been given to the opposition to get around the internet blocks and tell the world what is going on inside Syria.
Meanwhile, the road to the main airport of Damascus has been closed due to heavy fighting in the area. Several airlines such as EgyptAir have therefore canceled their flights to Damascus. Nabeel al-Ameer, a spokesman for the rebel Military Council in Damascus said that the rebels have taken control of many secondary roads and are expected to advance towards the airport.
Despite Assad’s attempt to fight the rebels with air attacks, the Syrian government has suffered several major losses over the past two weeks. The rebels are claimed to have taken over several army bases and have downed government aircraft. According to the opposition, 175 people were killed this Wednesday because of, among others, car bombings and shellings around Syria.
Thousands of people protested on Cairo’s Tahrir square against President Morsi earlier this week after what they saw as an attempt by the President to increase his power. On Tuesday, Morsi issued a decree in which he claimed his decisions to be “above judicial review” until the Constitution has been completed. According to Morsi this is necessary because of the threat of Supreme Constitutional Court judges – who were appointed by former President Mubarak – to take down the current Assembly. Many Egyptians however perceive this as a sign of Morsi emerging as dictator and came to Tahrir square to protest. Because of the crisis, Egyptian leaders are finishing the Constitution faster than expected.
After a series of car bomb attacks, at least 32 people were killed and 120 injured in Iraq. These attacks have been going on since last Tuesday in different areas of the country.