Europe

Delays hamper last evacuations from rebel enclave in Aleppo

  • In this still image taken from video released by Baladi News, a Syrian opposition-affiliated media outlet, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, a girl inside a bus holds up her bird-cage, one of the east Aleppo residents arriving to the city’s countryside as part of an evacuation process that commenced last week. The International Committee for the Red Cross said it has overseen the evacuation of 25,000 people from east Aleppo since rebels effectively surrendered the area to the Syrian government. (Baladi News via AP)

    In this still image taken from video released by Baladi News, a Syrian opposition-affiliated media outlet, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, a girl inside a bus holds up her bird-cage, one of the east Aleppo residents arriving to the city’s countryside as part of an evacuation process that commenced last week. The International Committee for the Red Cross said it has overseen the evacuation of 25,000 people from east Aleppo since rebels effectively surrendered the area to the Syrian government. (Baladi News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Armed Syrian fighters evacuated from the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo during the ceasefire arrive at a refugee camp in Rashidin, near Idlib, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia, Iran and Turkey are ready to act as guarantors in a peace deal between the Syrian government and the opposition. He spoke on Tuesday after a meeting of the three countries' foreign ministers in Moscow. (AP Photo)

    Armed Syrian fighters evacuated from the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo during the ceasefire arrive at a refugee camp in Rashidin, near Idlib, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia, Iran and Turkey are ready to act as guarantors in a peace deal between the Syrian government and the opposition. He spoke on Tuesday after a meeting of the three countries' foreign ministers in Moscow. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, embraces Bana Al-Abed, 7, from Aleppo, Syria, at his Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. The Syrian child who became the civilian face of Aleppo – 7-year old Bana Al-Abed whose tweets of life under siege in Aleppo went viral and who was evacuated from Aleppo was greeted along with her family by Erdogan on Wednesday. (Presidency Press Service /Pool Photo via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, embraces Bana Al-Abed, 7, from Aleppo, Syria, at his Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. The Syrian child who became the civilian face of Aleppo – 7-year old Bana Al-Abed whose tweets of life under siege in Aleppo went viral and who was evacuated from Aleppo was greeted along with her family by Erdogan on Wednesday. (Presidency Press Service /Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Syrian activists say the last buses meant to evacuate rebels and civilians from Aleppo have been delayed for nearly 24 hours. Reasons for the delay aren't clear.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict though activists on the ground, says 60 buses are waiting to leave eastern Aleppo on Wednesday with some 3,000 evacuees — the final step that surrenders the Syrian opposition stronghold in the war-torn city to the government.

Ward Furati, spokesman for Aleppo's Fastaqim rebel faction, says the fighters "won't leave until security of all the civilians has been fully guaranteed."

The Observatory also says 21 buses are waiting to evacuate the sick and wounded from the rebel-besieged Shiite villages of Foua and Kfarya as part of the cease-fire deal reached last week.