Syria defiantly celebrates independence just days after U.S. strikes

ALEPPO, Syria -- Despite the U.S., U.K. and France targeting Syria with more than 100 airstrikes in recent days, on Tuesday, Syrians celebrated their historic independence from France, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane. Opera and folk-dancing may not be how many would imagine an evening in Aleppo, but Syria's government wants to show strength in the wake of those strikes. 

TOPSHOT-SYRIA-ALEPPO

Syrians attend a concert in the northern city of Aleppo on April 17, 2018 to commemorate the end of French mandatory rule over Syria in 1946. 

George Ourfalian/AFP/Getty Images

The city in northern Syria was divided by fierce fighting as the government battled rebel forces there.

At the heart of the city, the citadel was held by Assad's forces and never lost -- and that's where the concert was and where CBS News met a social worker.
 
"This is reminiscent of another time?" Doane asked.

"Of the great time, of Syria before the war," Chantal Dharouy said. "Syria before the war was magnificent."
 
But not far from the singing and dancing, war still rages. Rival rebel groups in northern Syria have been fighting each other in the countryside to the west, and southwest of Aleppo, Russian and Syrian airstrikes have been pounding rebel positions in Idlib.
 
Syrians, at least here in government-controlled territory, are celebrating recent wins and trying to look forward.