This article is from the archive of our partner .

More than 50 people were killed this morning when two coordinated car bombs were set off in a mostly Christian neighborhood in the center of the Syrian capital, prompting fears of a new "Battle for Damascus." As usual, both sides are blaming the other, though it is believed by many outside observers that the Assad regime is targeting minority civilians through non-military tactics in order to turn them against the rebel opposition.

Fighting in the capital has increased in recent days, threatening one of the last strongholds of the regime. Some say that's causing Bashar al-Assad and his military to take more drastic measures, like the recent bombing of a hospital and a playground. Meanwhile, the rebels themselves have become more heavily armed. Video footage posted on YouTube on Tuesday appeared to show rebels shooting down a government helicopter with a heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile, a weapon not previous seen on their side.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a watchdog group that has been monitoring the nearly two-year-old conflict, said that 105 people were killed across the nation on Tuesday.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to