The Syrian government, meantime, blamed a rebel attack on a key power line for a blackout that hit Damascus and much of the country’s south overnight, leaving residents cold and in the dark amid a fuel crisis that has stranded many at home.
The Syrian capital’s 2.5 million residents have grown used to frequent power cuts as the country’s conflict has damaged infrastructure and sapped the government’s finances. But some said Monday that the overnight outage was the first to darken the entire capital since the conflict began.
The blackout hit residents especially hard because of rampant fuel shortages and below-freezing temperatures.
‘‘We covered ourselves from the cold in blankets because there was no diesel or electricity for the heaters,’’ said retired teacher Mariam Ghassan, 60. ‘‘We changed our whole lives to get organized for power cuts, but now we have no idea when the power will come or go.’’
By midday Monday, power had returned to more than half of the capital, and Electricity Minister Imad Khamis said authorities were working to restore it in other areas.
Associated Press writer Albert Aji contributed to this report from Damascus, Syria.