SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) Syrian military forces have killed at least 200 terrorists in the western coastal province of Latakia, media reports say.
Reports said on Saturday that the government troops inflicted heavy casualties on the militants and destroyed their equipment during an operation in Latakia countryside.
The clashes came as Syrian forces and foreign-backed insurgents have been engaged in heavy renewed fighting in several parts of the country.
In other operations, army troops have targeted militants gatherings at al-R'oneh valley, west Qara, al-Mal valley, as well as Tel al-Malouhi in Nabek, killing and wounding a number of them.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed in the violence.
Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
The Syrian government says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants.
In an interview recently broadcast on Turkish television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that if the militants fighting against the Syrian government take power in his country they could destabilize the entire Middle East for decades.
"If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take control… the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond," he added.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) Bahraini regime forces have fired tear gas and sound bombs to disperse demonstrators protesting against the upcoming Formula One Grand Prix near the capital, Manama.
Local sources said Friday that hundreds of anti-regime protesters took to the streets in Khamis village near the capital to voice their outrage at the authorities’ decision to keep the Bahrain Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar.
Outraged protesters chanted slogans such as “The people want the fall of the regime,” and “Down with Hamad,” referring to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
According to witnesses, clashes broke out as regime forces attempted to disperse the gathering. The protesters also responded with Molotov cocktails.
On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said the Al Khalifa regime has arrested 20 opposition activists ahead of the event.
“Bahraini authorities are carrying out home raids and arbitrarily detaining opposition protesters in advance of the Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend,” the human rights body said.
Demonstrators in the island nation have been staging protest rallies in solidarity with political prisoners and against the international motor racing event, which is due to be held on April 21.
In 2012, the Grand Prix went ahead in the kingdom despite protests.
Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, demanding political reform and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.
The Manama regime has arrested many rights activists, doctors and nurses since the uprising began.
Bahrainis say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations is met.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- How many children and teenage girls are ready for marriage? Yet the practice is shockingly prevalent: One out of nine girls in developing countrieswill be married by age 15, according to the United Nations. An estimated 14.2 million girls a year will become child brides by 2020 if nothing changes.
Driven largely by poverty and cultural traditions, such marriages are usually arranged by family members. The physical and emotional consequences can be life shattering, even fatal.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Stephanie Sinclair has been documenting child marriage all over the world for more than a decade. Her work, which was featured in a National Geographic magazine feature in 2011, has raised awareness and helped educate both citizens and world leaders. She spoke to us after attending a recent United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) event focused on addressing the problem of child marriage
What do you find most disturbing about child marriage?
I think the thing that we must acknowledge is that in most cases these young children do not want to be married. They want normal lives. They want to play with their friends, they want to be educated, and they want to have a full adolescence. These marriages rob many girls of their innocence, many times before puberty, and this is something that as a global society we cannot tolerate. The bottom line is that child marriage isn't just harmful to the girls involved. It's at the root of so many other societal ills: poverty, disease, maternal mortality, infant mortality, violence against women. All of those are symptoms connected to the same problem. If you solve the child marriage problem, these other issues benefit as well. And as the speaker at last week's CSW event put it: Let's be honest, when an eight-year-old has sex with a 20-something-year old, that's rape. It is child rape. It's something we cannot be okay with.
What's changed, if anything, since the NGM story ran in 2011? Have efforts to stop child marriage gained force?
When we did the story, there was not the same kind of public awareness of child marriage that there is now. But shortly afterward The Elders, a group of world leaders dedicated to peace and human rights, made it a priority issue and formed Girls Not Brides, which now has over 200 members based throughout Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America—all united by a commitment to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfill their potential.
My photo agency, VII, has also since partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for a two-year campaign on the topic, which kicked off with a huge exhibition at the UN headquarters in New York City on October 11, 2012, the first-ever International Day of the Girl Child. My photographs were featured throughout the UNFPA report released that day, titled "Marrying Too Young." Now I am continuing to produce new work on the issue with colleague and filmmaker Jessica Dimmock. We have an active blog on our campaign website, tooyoungtowed.org, and will be publishing additional stories and updates about where the exhibition will be traveling worldwide.
What more can be done?
A multifaceted approach is needed to address the issue of child marriage. Education is still the single most protective factor. This means keeping the children in school as long as possible, as well as educating the communities about the harmful impact of child marriage on the health of their girls, their grandchildren, and their societies as a whole. I also strongly believe there is not just a need for awareness-raising and prevention work, but we must also find ways to help the girls who are already in these marriages, be it through giving financial incentives to their families to let them stay in school, or vocational training so they can have more say in their lives and households. Quality medical treatment is also needed for girls who are giving birth at young ages. These girls need long-term solutions.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. But there seems to be a growing movement aimed at ending child marriage. A few months ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-sponsored pilot program in Bangladesh that will work with religious leaders, media, local governments, and NGOs to foster community support for an end to child marriage. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chairman of The Elders, has announced a very ambitious goal: to end the practice by 2030. If this issue remains a global priority, I'm optimistic that we can meet that deadline. There are always ways to do it. You just have to be creative. A lot of initiatives have started, but it's about keeping the momentum.
How do you plan to continue covering this issue?
My film partner and I just returned from Tanzania and are following a narrative there on the health repercussions for young brides. We return again in about two weeks. We are putting together something for the United Nations population book. We are looking at the issue of fistula, one of many health issues, including uterine prolapse and ruptured uterus, that girls suffer because of child marriage. In fact when I was in Yemen I interviewed a female gynecologist who told me: "When the girls in your country are at the beginning of their lives, the girls in our country are at the end of their lives."
You've heard the personal stories of many child brides. Was there one that especially moved or outraged you?
They are all heartbreaking, but probably the one that got me the most was the little girl Tahani. She was eight when I met her, but six when she was married to her 25-year-old husband in Hajjah, Yemen. She is featured in the video we did that went with the National Geographic story. Even though she looks young—her teeth haven't even grown in yet—there is a matter-of-factness about her that makes her seem older, which is clear evidence of trauma, otherwise she wouldn't be so dissociated talking about her sexual experience at age eight. Serious innocence has been lost. She went to school, she even lived next to a school, but wasn't able to complete her education because once her mother died, there was no one to stand up for her.
Are there any happy endings you can share?
Yes. In 2010, I photographed a Yemeni girl named Nujoud Ali. Nujoud was one of the lucky ones. Due to her own bravery and with the help of a female lawyer named Shada Nasser, Nujoud was able to get a divorce at age 10, just a few months after her marriage. She is now having a second chance at life. We can only hope that other girls will get the support they need should they want to take the same steps.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Mafia-linked criminal gangs have been trying to sabotage a Serbian government aircraft with the country's top officials on board, Serbia's Interior Ministry announced.
A special investigation has produced evidence that the mafia is planning to hire staff among the aircraft's maintenance personnel to set up a malfunction in the plane in the hopes of it crashing after takeoff. The aim of the mission, investigators believe, is to take out top government officials during an international trip.
The Serbian government employs two planes – a Falcon 50, made in 1981, and a Learjet 31A manufactured in 1991. The Falcon 50 remains the main choice of air travel for the head of state. In recent years, both aircraft repeatedly suffered minor and major faults that sometimes led to the disruption of Serbian leaders' foreign visits.
Because of the fragile condition of the planes, the investigation believes it would be easier to conceal the criminal actions given the constant maintenance issues dogging the aircrafts.
Despite the revelations of the threat, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and First Deputy Prime Minister Vleksandr Vucic agreed to continue foreign visits. On Thursday, Dacic was in Dublin. When told about the threat, the prime minister decided to return to Belgrade despite the safety concerns.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The Syrian army has stepped up an offensive on opposition Sunni Muslim strongholds in the central city of Homs, bringing in ground forces and loyalist militia to try to secure a major road junction, opposition sources said on Friday.
Around 15,000 Sunni civilians are trapped on the southern and western edge of the city near the intersection of Syria's main north-south and east-west arteries, crucial to let the army travel between Damascus and the Mediterranean coast, opposition campaigners in Homs said.
Rebels said they had moved into new areas of Homs this month to grab more territory, which could explain the offensive. Activists said that rebels had asked them not to report on the advances because it could provoke retaliatory strikes.
But activists in Homs said a barrage of army rocket, artillery and aerial bombardment had killed at least 120 civilians and 30 opposition fighters since Sunday.
In the south, eight members of Syria's military intelligence were killed by an Islamist militant car bomb on Thursday night near the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, opposition activists and a violence monitoring group said on Friday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bomb was planted by Al-Nusra Front, a rebel unit fighting to oust Assad that the United States has labeled a terrorist group.
"We think the blast might have killed a colonel who has been leading the fight against rebels in the area," Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Britain-based Observatory said. The building targeted is in the town of Saasa, 14 miles (23km) from the frontier with the Golan Heights, he said.
Syrian authorities have banned most independent media, making it difficult to verify such reports on the ground.
The nearly two-year-old conflict has now killed an estimated 60,000 people and a military stalemate has formed while hundreds of thousands of refugees flood into Syria's neighbors.
The Syrian Interior Ministry called on Thursday for Syrian refugees to come home and said they would be guaranteed safety.
A statement on the state news agency SANA said the government was "offering guarantees to all political opposition sides to enter the country ... (and) ... take part in the national dialogue without any query."
Few who left have returned, especially opposition supporters, and Assad said in a speech this month that he would not talk with opposition members he said had betrayed Syria or "gangs recruited abroad that follow the orders of foreigners".
The war has reached every province in the country and fighting has encroached on the heart of the capital Damascus, with residents reporting the daily thud of artillery being fired on rebel-held districts in the outskirts.
U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford told CNN on Thursday that Assad's mother Anisa Makhlouf and his sister Bushra had both moved to the United Arab Emirates. It is not clear why they left.
SHABBIHA BROUGHT IN
Activist Nader al-Husseini, speaking by phone from the western sector of Homs, said at least 10,000 pro-Assad shabbiha militiamen had been brought from the coastal city of Tartous to back up the regular army.
"They go in infantry formations behind the soldiers and their specialty is looting and killing civilians," he said, adding that among dozens killed by the shabbiha were a family of five in the village of Naqira.
Husseini said 100 wounded civilians were trapped in Homs' western neighborhood of Kafar Aya and that the Free Syrian Army rebels had tried to negotiate a deal to evacuate them but failed.
Opposition sources blame shabbiha for the death of more than 100 Sunni men, women and children when they overran a nearby area 10 days ago.
Mostly Sunni Homs, a commercial and agricultural hub 140 km (90 miles) north of Damascus, has been at the heart of the uprising and armed insurgency against Assad and his establishment, composed mostly of Alawites, who follow an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam and comprise about 10 percent of the population. There is a large Alawite minority in Homs.
Syrian authorities have not commented directly on the latest offensive, but official media have in the past referred to the need to â€˜cleanse' the city of what they described as terrorists who were terrorizing peaceful neighborhoods.
Tareq, another activist, said the fall of Kafar Aya and the adjacent neighborhoods of Jobar and al-Sultaniya would make the position of Sunnis in the city untenable.
"These districts are the front line with Alawite areas from where rebels have been sometimes disrupting the road between Damascus and Tartous. If they fall the Assad army will have carved a big hole to proceed deep into Homs and secure the link to the capital."www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The British government plans to make it a criminal offence to force anyone into a marriage they do not want.
But finding and prosecuting parents who break the law could be easier said than done.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Security forces in Kuwait have blocked hundreds of protesters from staging a rally outside the nation's parliament building.
After being removed from outside parliament on Sunday, demonstrators gathered in front of Kuwait's supreme court building. The non-violent confrontation came as the country's ruler inaugurated the new legislature amid criticism from the opposition
Anti-government factions, which have held near-daily demonstrations, earlier boycotted a December 1 election over objections to changes in voting rules.
Protest leaders are vowing to increase pressures until Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait, disbands the current parliament and orders new elections and reinstating former voting rules that allowed casting multiple ballots.
The opposition says the amendments of the electoral law enables the government to control the outcome of polls.
According to a statement from the ministry of information, the new parliament is "younger and more diverse than its predecessors", allowing the inclusion of all Kuwaitis in the political process, and enacting long stalled initiatives.
“We are eager to work with government to bring about the development and reforms that will ensure Kuwait’s continued prosperity,” said Yacoub Alsanea, one of the newly elected member of parliament.
Violent confrontations between riot police and youth activists erupted earlier this month as protesters express their rejection to the election.
All the 50 seats in the legislature were won by pro-government candidates after the opposition boycotted the poll.
Al-Sabah has said his amendments will help preserve national security and stability.
The Gulf state has been rocked by a series of political disputes since mid-2006 between parliamentarians and the government.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The principal and another staff member at an elementary school in Connecticut rushed a gunman who had forced his way inside, an act of courage that cost both of them their lives, a school superintendent said on Saturday. In all, the gunman killed 26 people, 20 of them children, in the nation’s second-deadliest school shooting.
The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, 47, of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, was running at the gunman “in order to protect her students” when she was shot, Janet Robinson, the superintendent, said. The school psychologist also tried to stop the gunman and was killed, Ms. Robinson told reporters in brief remarks outside the school.
“Teachers were really, really focused on saving their students,” she added.
The chilling details about some of the moments during the carnage in the bucolic community emerged as investigators pressed for more information about the gunman, identified as Adam Lanza. A police spokesman, Lt. J. Paul Vance, said investigators had produced “some very good evidence,” but he provided no explanation for a massacre that unfolded with brutal efficiency as Mr. Lanza, 20, opened fire in one classroom and then another, turning a place where children were supposed to be safe — an elementary school with a sign out front that said, “Visitors Welcome” — into a national symbol of heartbreak and horror.
Lieutenant Vance said the victims’ bodies had been taken from the school, Sandy Hook Elementary. He said the one survivor of the massacre, a woman who was shot and wounded at the school, would be “instrumental” in piecing together what had happened. He declined to describe what evidence investigators — who combed through the one-story school on Saturday — had found.
Contradicting earlier reports, Ms. Robinson said Mr. Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, had never been a teacher or a substitute teacher at the school, though she did not specifically say whether she had had any other connection to the place.
Officials said the killing spree began early on Friday at the house where Mr. Lanza had lived with his mother. There, he shot her in the face, making her his first victim, the authorities said. Then, leaving her dead after taking three guns that apparently belonged to her, he climbed into her car for the short drive to the school. Two of the guns were semiautomatic pistols; the other was a semiautomatic rifle.
Outfitted in combat gear, Mr. Lanza forced his way into the school, apparently defeating an intercom system that was supposed to keep people out during the day unless someone inside buzzed them in. This contradicted earlier reports that he had been recognized and allowed to enter.
“He was not voluntarily let into the school at all,” Lieutenant Vance said. “He forced his way in.”
The lieutenant said the authorities were “investigating the history of each and every weapon” that Mr. Lanza carried to the scene of the rampage and said that the guns were found in the school, “in proximity” to where Mr. Lanza shot himself to death.
A federal law enforcement official said the three guns recovered at the school — Glock and Sig Sauer pistols and an M4 .223-caliber Carbine — were bought legally by the gunman’s mother and registered in her name. Other weapons were recovered from her home, the official said.
Even before the medical examiner had released the identities of the victims, some were being mourned on the Internet. One was Ana Greene, the 6-year-old daughter of the jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene, who moved to Newtown in July. Several other jazz musicians express condolences on Facebook, and Mr. Greene posted a response in which he thanked them.
“As much as she’s needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me,” he wrote, “Ana beat us all to paradise.” He added, “I love you, sweetie girl.” (The Ottawa Citizen quoted a family member as saying that Mr. Greene’s son, who also attended the school, was “fine.”)
Dorothy Werden, 49, lives across the street from Christopher and Lynn McDonnell, who lost their daughter Grace, 6, on Friday. In an interview Saturday morning, she said that several other families who had lost children lived close by, and that the Lanza household was a block away.
Ms. Werden said she saw Grace getting on a bus Friday morning, as she did every day at 8:45. Shortly afterward, she received a call that there had been a lockdown at the school — something that happens periodically, she said, because there is a prison nearby. It was only when she saw police cars from out of town speed past her that she knew something was wrong.
“A lot of my friends in the neighborhood lost their children,” she said. The feeling in the once-quiet streets Saturday morning is “absolute, indescribable devastation,” she added.
“The fact that the killer killed his mom a block away while we were getting our kids ready for school, it’s too much for your brain to process. And the fact that I have to look across the street and see the McDonnells’ house,” she said, before trailing off.
The shooting affected a small community of close-knit families, Ms. Werden added. “The fact that it’s contained in the Sandy Hook area,” she said, “I don’t think we’ll recover from this for a very long time.”
Like the rest of the nation, she said, local residents were asking one question: Why?
“Why did he have to go to the elementary school and kill all of those defenseless children?” Ms. Werden said.
Terrifying new details emerged Saturday about how teachers and school staff members scrambled to move children to safety as the massacre began. Maryann Jacob, a library clerk, said she initially herded students behind a bookcase against a wall “where they can’t be seen.” She said that spot had been chosen in practice drills for school lockdowns, but on Friday, she had to move the pupils to a storage room “because we discovered one of our doors didn’t lock.”
Ms. Jacob said the storage room had crayons and paper that they tore up for the children to color while they waited. “They were asking what was going on,” she said. “We said: ‘We don’t know. Our job is just to be quiet.’” But she said that she did know, because she had called the school office and learned that the unthinkable had happened just steps away.
Law enforcement officials said Mr. Lanza had grown up in Newtown, and he was remembered by high school classmates as smart, introverted and nervous. They said he had gone out of his way not to attract attention when he was younger.
There was still no public explanation of what had motivated Mr. Lanza. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed his brother, Ryan Lanza, in Hoboken, N.J. His father, Peter Lanza, who was divorced from his mother, Nancy Lanza, was also questioned, an official said.
President Obama, meanwhile, used his weekly radio and Internet address to mourn the victims, saying that “every parent in America has a heart heavy with hurt.” Republicans, who normally prepare a reply to the president’s address, did not do so this time.
The president’s address was similar to a statement he read in the White House press room on Friday, when he paused, more than once, and wiped his eyes.
“Our hearts are broken today,” Mr. Obama said in his address. He mentioned other places where there had been mass shootings this year, including a mall in Oregon, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and a movie theater in Colorado, as well as “countless street corners in places like Chicago and Philadelphia.”
“Any of these neighborhoods could be our own,” Mr. Obama said. “So we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
Lieutenant Vance said 18 youngsters were pronounced dead at the school, and two others were taken to hospitals, where they were declared dead. All the adults killed at the school were pronounced dead there.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were tracing all of the guns registered to Mr. Lanza’s mother and had completed the work on several, the official said, but would not provide additional details.
The agents were also visiting all the licensed federal firearms dealers in the area to determine if they might have records on any other weapons linked to the gunman or to his family, and they were canvassing sporting ranges in an effort to learn whether the gunman might have visited them for recreational use.
On Friday night, thousands of people flocked to local churches, attending candlelight vigils and seeking comfort in community.
“These 20 children were just beautiful, beautiful children,” Msgr. Robert Weiss of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church told reporters. “These 20 children lit up this community better than all these Christmas lights we have.”
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The air combat exercises involving more than 100 pilots were held over 11 days last month in the vast northwestern region of Xinjiang, according to the website of the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily and other official news outlets.
Pilots practiced engaging in dog fights and countering electro-magnetic interference, the reports said.
Aircraft taking part came from 14 separate units and included China's most modern jet fighters, the J-10 and J-11, along with older models and two-seater Sukhoi Su-30s purchased from Russia, the reports said.
The exercises are a vivid demonstration of China's vastly improved military capabilities that have unnerved other Asian nations and spur a renewed U.S. focus on the region. The Global Times newspaper published by People's Daily called them the largest in recent years in both firepower and numbers of aircraft, and said they also involved large numbers of technicians and experts on missiles, radar and other related technologies.
They came amid stepped-up sea patrols around East China Sea islands claimed by China but controlled by Japan that followed an explosion of violent anti-Japanese protests across China in September.
Beijing has dispatched China Marine Surveillance vessels almost daily to confront Japanese Coast Guard cutters around the uninhabited rocks north of Taiwan, known as the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Taiwan, which calls the islands Diaoyutai, also claims them.
The drills also follow renewed feuding between China and other claimants to islands and maritime territory in the South China Sea. Aggressive patrolling by Chinese vessels has prompted Vietnam and the Philippines to bolster their forces with additional ships, planes, and submarines, and has drawn in the U.S., which insists on free navigation through the region of crucial shipping lanes and rich fishing stocks and undersea mineral wealth.
While the exercises were being held, China's navy also for the first time launched and recovered aircraft from the country's first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Ukrainian craft that will be armed with J-15 fighter-bombers, a Chinese adaptation of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Syrian forces have pounded rebel positions around Damascus with artillery and air strikes in the latest attempt by the government to secure the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.
The London-based group, which relies on a network of local activists for its information, said on Sunday the fighting broke out in Irbin, a town east of Damascus.
It gave no figures on casaulties in Sunday's fighting but put Saturday's death toll from violence across the country at 116.
The SOHR said troops also shelled Zabadani to the northwest of the capital and the village of Mliha, leaving many people wounded.
Mliha, southeast of Damascus, is located in the region of Eastern Ghouta, where troops have launched a drive to secure the airport highway.
Forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, have been trying to establish a secure perimeter around Damascus, turning the region into one of the main battlegrounds in the country's 20-month conflict, which has killed at least 40,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee the country.
In Saturday's fighting, warplanes hit the Damascus suburbs of Kafar Souseh and Darraya, according to the SOHR.
"Syrian regular forces are trying to control the areas surrounding the capital," it said. Bombings targeted a continuous arc of rebel presence in the capital's outer districts from the northeast to the southwest.
Opposition activists reported clashes and air strikes in the provinces of Homs, Deir al-Zor, Idlib and in Aleppo, where they said 14 rebel fighters were killed during an assault on an army base in the town of Khanasser early on Saturday.
It is difficult to verify such reports due to government restrictions on media access to Syria.
Meanwhile, Syria's Internet connections were restored on Saturday after a two-day blackout, the worst communications outage since the uprising began.
The internet was back in most parts of the country, including in Damascus, the northern city of Aleppo, the central cities of Homs and Hama, and the coastal city of Tartus, residents in the areas told Al Jazeera.
Renesys, a US-based firm that monitors online activity, confirmed a "largely complete" restoration of internet service in Syria.
Experts said the outage was highly likely to have been caused by the state.
Assad's government has previously been accused of cutting internet and telephone connections to block opposition activist and rebel communications.
Authorities had attributed the latest outage to a "terrorist" attack or a technical fault. The government frequently uses the term terrorist to describe opposition fighters.