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24 Dec, 2011 05:39

Syria faces a Christmas of blood and fear

The Christian world is getting ready for Christmas, but there’s little festive spirit in Syria as its capital recovers from two suicide blasts which left over 40 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Damascus has until now has been largely spared from the bloodshed, but it is now starting to feel the effects of the escalating conflict, reports RT's Sara Firth.

At this time of year,  the city is usually brightly lit as Christians, who account for 10 per cent of the population, get ready to celebrate Christmas.

This year the scenes of devastation are a harsh contrast and a stark reminder of just how much the country has changed in the past nine months.

“Last year at Christmas we used to wish health and pray for people in other countries that were going through hard times with war,” one Syrian Christian told RT. “We never thought that this year it would be us.”

No one feels like celebrating with the country’s hospitals full of casualties. As the violence spreads, it is proving extremely hard to know exactly who is responsible for what. Any killing committed by unknown perpetrators is blamed on the government by the opposition and vice versa.

An Arab League team will be attempting to cut through the rhetoric to discover whose version of events is most accurate. But many remain skeptical about how much they will be able to achieve.

If there is one Christmas gift that everyone here hopes for – it is for the violence to stop.