The Syrian army will recapture Aleppo from rebel forces within 10 days, a senior commander in charge of the five-week military offensive on the commercial capital told AFP on Monday.
The city would fall once Saif al-Dawla, one of the two "toughest" neighbourhoods, was conquered as the other, Salaheddin, had already been seized back from the "terrorists" concentrated in the two areas, the general said.
"They are the most difficult given the urban geography. After that other parts will be easier to take," he said on condition of anonymity.
The general said that about 3,000 government troops were involved in the fight against about 7,000 "terrorists," a term used by regime officials to describe the rebels.
He added that 2,000 rebels had been killed since the start of the assault on Aleppo at the start of August.
The rebels had on July 20 opened a new front in the Syrian conflict by launching an attack on the city before the army dislodged them from several sectors, including Salaheddin, one of their main strongholds.
"Salaheddin has been totally under the control of the military since August 9," said the commander of a unit from the south of the country that is part of the offensive.
AFP journalists who were able to go with the army to Salaheddin found that the neighbourhood was effectively under the control of the government forces.
Under dangling electricity cables, volunteers from civil defence groups helped police to remove bodies from the streets and put them into bags.
But fighting continued in Saif al-Dawla, a suburb that resembled a ghost town.
"We control the top of Saif al-Dawla. It will be easy to conquer the rest," another colonel said on condition of anonymity, as widespread destruction of the district was clearly evident.
The commander in charge of the operations also said that the army controlled the upper area and declared that the operation in the district would be complete in two days.
Six bodies were seen lying on the ground, while cars riddled with bullet holes were scattered in the streets amid the strong stench of death.
Syria has been engulfed by violence that activists say has killed more than 26,000 people since an uprising broke out against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in March last year.