Questions surround bomb explosions in Damascus

Two car bombs ripped through the eastern area of Jaramana, Damascus. Photo: Addounia television / RTV

It's clear there have been bomb explosions in Damascus. It's clear dozens of people are dead. Beyond that, it's not clear at all.

According to Syria's state media, two car bombs detonated early this morning in the main square of Jaramana, a suburb of the capital.

Syria's pro-government media put the death toll at between 34 and 56. The Interior Ministry says 83 people were injured.

But who planted the bombs and why this area was chosen are tougher questions to answer.

Jaramana is widely described as being "pro-government". It is certainly a Christian and Druze area but that doesn't mean it supports President Assad.

It has been targeted before.

Syria's state media say "terrorists" were responsible for the bombings. But activists are sceptical, to say the least.

They believe the government is behind the attacks, trying to spread terror among Syria's minorities. Its aim, they say, is to make the minorities feel that their survival is dependent on the survival of Assad.

Assad's minority Alawite regime has always portrayed itself as the only guarantor of the rights of Christians and other religious groups. And many are convinced that is indeed the case, as the revolution begins to involve more and more Islamist groups, many affiliated to Al Qaeda.

The rebels' Revolutionary Military Council has condemned the bombings, accusing Assad of being behind them.

Whoever did this, the pot is boiling in Syria ever more furiously. Rebels are making gains. Military bases are being attacked regularly.

Yesterday, an army helicopter was downed with what appears to be a surface to air missile, the first evidence that rebels have this weapon. Damascus is less and less safe.

And a murky war becomes ever more murkier.