Syria's army on Sunday completed its deployment of reinforcements to the embattled northern city of Aleppo, ready for a decisive battle, a security source told AFP.
"The war is likely to be long, because there will have to be street battles in order to get rid of the terrorists," the high-level source said, declining to be named.
"All the reinforcements have arrived and they are surrounding the city," the source said. "The army is ready to launch its offensive, but is awaiting orders."
A prominent security official told AFP on Saturday that the battle for Aleppo, Syria's economic capital in the north of the country, had not yet started in earnest, despite often heavy fighting since July 20.
"The battle for Aleppo has not yet begun, and what is happening now is just the appetizer," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "The main course will come later."
He said that at least 20,000 troops were posted on the ground, while the rebels who claim to control 50 percent of the city had also sent reinforcements to Aleppo.