updated 03:30 pm EST, Wed November 16, 2011
FSA attack grabs initial headlines
The resistance to Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria has deployed an iOS app as one of its tools, says the The Daily Beast. The new app, Souria Wa Bas (roughly "Syria and That's All"), gathers news on Syria from an opposition perspective, since al-Assad's government is accused of putting out false information. Users have access to text, videos, a map of opposition hotspots and even a joke collection. Thanks are given to resistance groups such as the country's Local Coordination Committees.
The app was launched on Tuesday, and one of the first major headlines to hit it was an attack by the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group formed mainly by military defectors. The organization struck at several points around Damascus on early Wednesday morning, including the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in the suburb of Harasta. In the app users had access to an aerial photo of the AFI building, with arrows marking the three directions from which the building was reportedly assaulted.
The impact of the app may be relatively limited. The iPhone is an extremely expensive device in the region, and not officially available in Syria itself. Instead, the app is hosted on the App Store for the United Arab Emirates.