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Evacuations are underway in Aleppo after delays

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UPDATE: Sunday, Dec. 18, 7:07 EST

The evacuations of civilians resumed in the rebel-held enclave of east Aleppo Sunday night after several delays, according to CNN

"Evacuations are on. Buses and ambulances are leaving east Aleppo now," a U.N. official said in an email to Reuters around 4 p.m. EST. 

Robert Mardini of the International Committee of the Red Cross tweeted that five buses and one ambulance have left the "dark and cold" city of Aleppo. 

Mardini added that he is, "Hopeful (the) operation will proceed smoothly."  

Original story

The evacuations of thousands of civilians from Aleppo, Syria, are likely to resume Sunday after reaching a screeching halt for a few days.

This is after the Free Syrian Army rebel alliance struck a deal Saturday to give safe passage to those still in rebel-held easter Aleppo, according to a statement by Osama Abazid.

The agreement was mediated by Turkey, following two failed ceasefires.

The escape route is roughly 2.5 miles long.

Freezing conditions

Reporters from various outlets described seeing people sleeping in the streets in freezing conditions with little or no food.

According to Syrian local media, buses entered eastern Aleppo at around noon local time to resume the operations.

Reports said 1,200 people would be bussed out of the former rebel enclave in return for a similar number to be taken out of the two government-held areas in Idlib province - Foah and Kefraya.

Original evacuation

The original plan to evacuate eastern Aleppo foiled Friday, which left people stranded at various points along the escape route.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK monitoring group, said Sunday that the rebel group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Nusra Front), was preventing buses from entering the villages of Foah and Kefraya.

The International Red Cross said it's preparing for the evacuations to resume.

Vote now

The UN will vote on Sunday whether or not to send observers to the stricken city, after France proposed the UN should monitor evacuation efforts.

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