Syrian President Bashar al Assad has offered amnesty to fighters in rebel-held eastern Aleppo if they lay down their arms as pro-government forces make gains north of the besieged city. Mana Rabiee reports.
Syrian pro-government forces are making advances on rebels north of Aleppo. A UK-based war monitoring group confirms some of those gains and says fierce battles are raging on other fronts near the besieged city. The gains come after two weeks of the heaviest bombings on rebel-held eastern Aleppo in nearly six years of war. The offensive has killed hundreds of people there and torpedoed a U.S.-backed Syria peace initiative. In Western Aleppo, where the government has maintained control, the contrasts couldn't be greater. Residents dance away their worries at this nightclub -- the best escape, they say, from the dark realities of war on the other side of their city. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN WOMAN, NUHA FARJ, SAYING: "There is nothing else we can do. We have to make ourselves happy in these circumstances that we are living in." President Bashar al Assad offered amnesty on Thursday to fighters in eastern Aleppo, if they lay down their arms, but the rebels say they have no plans to evacuate. Analysts say Aleppo will eventually fall. But even that, they say, won't likely end the Syrian war.