Aleppo battle: Hundreds leave Syria city as evacuations resume

Buses drive through the Syrian government-controlled crossing of Ramoussah, on the southern outskirts of Aleppo, on 18 December 2016Image copyright

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Syrian state media said buses entered eastern Aleppo around noon local time but did not leave for several hours

Evacuations have resumed from east Aleppo, with buses and ambulances leaving rebel areas of the Syrian city, a UN official says.

At least 350 people have reportedly left rebel enclaves in convoys, heading west towards government territory.

Earlier, buses sent to take people out of government-controlled areas, besieged by rebels, were set alight, halting the latest evacuation deal.

Thousands are waiting to leave east Aleppo in desperate conditions.

The UN Security Council is said to have agreed a compromise to allow UN monitoring of the operation in east Aleppo. Russia earlier rejected a French-drafted plan as “a disaster”.

“We expect to vote unanimously for this text tomorrow [Monday],” said US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.

The initial efforts to evacuate the last rebel-held enclaves in the city collapsed on Friday, leaving civilians stranded at various points along the route out without access to food or shelter. Bombardment of east Aleppo has left it virtually without medical facilities.

Despite further setbacks on Sunday, buses and ambulances began moving out of the area after nightfall.

“Evacuations are on,” the UN official said in an email message to Reuters news agency, adding that the first people left east Aleppo at around 23:00 local time (21:00 GMT).

Five buses carrying evacuees arrived in rebel-held Khan al-Assal, AFP news agency quoted Ahmad al-Dbis, who heads a team of doctors coordinating evacuations to the town, as saying.

From Khan al-Assal, the evacuees are expected to travel to government held parts of Aleppo and Idlib provinces.

Media captionNurses are forced to perform a Caesarean in place of surgeons in Aleppo

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