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22:19 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Syrian opposition launches anti-government iPhone app

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Despite the government's Internet crackdown, Syrian opposition has launched its own iPhone application to broadcast anti-government news, the Mobiledia online portal said.

Despite the government's Internet crackdown, Syrian opposition has launched its own iPhone application to broadcast anti-government news, the Mobiledia online portal said.

The "Souria Wa Bas" ("Syria Alone") application was created by underground Local Coordination Committees to refute official media reports, which the opposition sees as "deliberate attempts to distort facts."

The debut message said the Free Syrian Army struck several key points in the capital Damascus and the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Harastra. The message also contained a map of the attacks and an aerial photo.

The app also offers a collection of videos and jokes poking fun at the incumbent president Bashar al-Assad.

"But the iPhone app is not likely meant to reach only those within Syria, a country where Apple's handset is both extremely expensive and not officially available," the portal said. "Instead, it appears meant to reach the wider world with news that otherwise might not become public."

Protests and violence in Syria have continued for nine months. The UN says 3,500 people have died in clashes while Syrian official statistics put the figure at 2,600. The opposition wants President Bashar al-Assad to quit, a demand backed by the United States and the EU.

Two weeks ago, Damascus agreed to accept an Arab League peace plan for Syria, in which Damascus would release political prisoners detained in the current conflict, and remove all military equipment from urban areas.