Syrian presidency says Instagram account blocked

The Syrian presidency said the Instagram account was "reactivated" but "other national accounts" were still suspended, without specifying the dates they were closed

The Syrian presidency Tuesday said its Instagram account has been blocked, one week after the photo-sharing website shut down the accounts of several Iranian Revolutionary Guards because of US sanctions.

A statement released on the presidency's other social media channels said the move came without "prior warning or a logical justification".

Youtube had previously blocked the presidency's channel several times, it said.

The "deliberate" decision to close-down official government channels and accounts on social media networks is part of a "growing siege" that has been imposed on Syria since the start of the country's war in 2011, the presidency said.

It said it believed further measures may follow as part of a so-called "soft war" being waged on the country, now that "the military conflict is receding".

Access to the Syrian presidency's account, which was working last week, was denied when AFP tried on Tuesday.

The presidency said that a new Instagram account has been created.

An Instagram spokesperson told AFP last week that compliance with US sanctions prompted the website to block the accounts of several Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Since 2011, the US and the EU have imposed a flurry of sanctions against Syrian officials.

The Syrian presidency's social media accounts have been used frequently during the conflict.

They are a key source for communiques and statements attributed to President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma.