Syria's Internet is down again 

Renesys Corporation

As Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces claim control of a major highway needed to remove toxic chemicals by the Dec. 31 deadline, the country is experiencing almost complete outages for both Internet and telephone service, tech tracking firms observed Monday. 

As of 9:30 a.m. in Damascus, close to 90 percent of the routed networks in Syria were inaccessible, Renesys, an International research firm, reported. A few hours later, Canadian network monitoring firm BGPmon confirmed the country's almost Internet complete outage.

International and local telephone lines were also down, noted the Associated Press. Syrian state television attributed the Internet and telephone disconnect to "technical" problems. 

Syria has experienced occasional Internet outages since the insurgency against the country's current government began in 2011, with the first complete outage occurring on Nov. 29, 2012. 

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Helen A.S. Popkin is Deputy Technology & Science editor for and TODAY.Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.