The Syrian army's brisk recapture of parts of Damascus is unlikely to be repeated in Aleppo, where open rebel supply lines, hard-to-assail narrow streets and an apparent lack of elite manpower will limit its commanders' options.
The struggle in parts of Aleppo held by insurgents is likely to be more protracted than last month's battles in the capital, inflicting further bloodshed and damage on Syria's largest city and driving more of the population out, analysts say.
That complex geography in a city vital to Syria's economy and to President Bashar Assad's survival makes it problematic to bring the military's full firepower to bear.
The narrow streets and alleys give cover for Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels in central Aleppo. The rebels also now control an open supply route from Turkey, allowing them to regroup and resupply.