The U.S. State Department on Thursday condemned the Syrian government for cutting off the Internet service within the Arab country, saying that the alleged move showed its desperation to cling to power.
"We condemn this latest assault on the Syrian people's ability to express themselves and communicate with each other. It again speaks to the desperation of the regime as it tries to cling to power," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a briefing.
However, Nuland told reporters that the opposition in Syria can still maintain their communications despite the disruption of Internet service and cell phone signals.
"We've provided some 2,000 communications kits, pieces of equipment, since this effort began," Nuland said.
"They are all designed to be independent from and able to circumvent the Syrian domestic network precisely for the reason of keeping them safe, keeping them secure from regime tampering, from regime listening, from regime interruption," she continued.
Nuland's remarks came after U.S. technology companies monitoring Syria's web traffic confirmed that most Internet services in the country were cut off on Thursday, with cell phone signals also being disrupted.
U.S. company Renesys said on its website that starting at 12:26 p.m. local time (1026 GMT), Syria's international Internet connectivity has been shut down.