Europe

The Latest: Syrian official: Aleppo evacuation at any moment

  • Eastern Aleppo residents wait in the streets to be evacuated from the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances as the long-awaited pullout from the last rebel enclave in the embattled city gets underway. The evacuation is part of a cease-fire deal reached this week to have the opposition surrender their last foothold in Aleppo to Syrian government control in the face of a devastating ground and air offensive by government forces. (UGC via AP)

    Eastern Aleppo residents wait in the streets to be evacuated from the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances as the long-awaited pullout from the last rebel enclave in the embattled city gets underway. The evacuation is part of a cease-fire deal reached this week to have the opposition surrender their last foothold in Aleppo to Syrian government control in the face of a devastating ground and air offensive by government forces. (UGC via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Eastern Aleppo residents wait in the streets to be evacuated from the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances as the long-awaited pullout from the last rebel enclave in the embattled city gets underway. The evacuation is part of a cease-fire deal reached this week to have the opposition surrender their last foothold in Aleppo to Syrian government control in the face of a devastating ground and air offensive by government forces. (UGC via AP)

    Eastern Aleppo residents wait in the streets to be evacuated from the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances as the long-awaited pullout from the last rebel enclave in the embattled city gets underway. The evacuation is part of a cease-fire deal reached this week to have the opposition surrender their last foothold in Aleppo to Syrian government control in the face of a devastating ground and air offensive by government forces. (UGC via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This image released by the Thiqa News Agency, shows civilians gathering for evacuation from eastern Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Syrian activists said residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances, the first step in an evacuation that is part of the rebel enclave's effective surrender. (Thiqa News via AP)

    This image released by the Thiqa News Agency, shows civilians gathering for evacuation from eastern Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Syrian activists said residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances, the first step in an evacuation that is part of the rebel enclave's effective surrender. (Thiqa News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the conflict in Syria where a cease-fire deal to allow evacuation of rebels and tens of thousands of civilians from eastern Aleppo is back on (all times local):

8:55 a.m.

A Syrian army official confirms that all is ready for rebels and civilians to start leaving Aleppo "at any moment."

The army official, who spoke by telephone to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said all preparations are ready for the operation to begin on Thursday.

His comments came after the cease-fire deal, mediated by Ankara and Moscow, unraveled amid fighting the previous day.

An opposition monitoring group says the operation has already begun but that could not immediately be independently confirmed. — Bassem Mroue in Beirut

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8:25 a.m.

The media arm of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group says overnight negotiations have reinforced a cease-fire deal to allow Syrian rebels and tens of thousands of civilians to leave the besieged eastern city of Aleppo.

It says Syrian rebels will likely begin leaving their last holdout in Aleppo "in the coming hours."

Thursday's announcement by Hezbollah's Military Media came after the cease-fire deal, mediated by Ankara and Moscow, unraveled amid fighting the previous day. Shiite Hezbollah militiamen are fighting in the Syrian civil war on the side of President Bashar Assad's forces.

Damascus and its allies have not commented on the cease-fire being back on. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the fighting stopped in the city around 4 a.m.