Thousands Evacuated From Aleppo as UN Votes to Monitor the Area

About 500 civilians were also bused out of two pro-government villages.

Earlier today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that close to 14,000 people, including more than 4,000 fighters, have left rebel-held Aleppo since Thursday.

The evacuations are part of a deal between rebels and the Syrian government and its allies to allow thousands of civilians and fighters trapped in eastern Aleppo to leave the area, under the condition that about 4,000 civilians, including the wounded in Foua and Kefraya, are evacuated as well. Also according to the deal, 1,500 civilians are to be evacuated from the Syrian town of Madaya, a rebel stronghold.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that Aleppo is now a "synonym for hell."

"We have collectively failed the people of Syria," he said. "Peace will only prevail when it is accompanied by compassion, justice and accountability for the abominable crimes we have seen."

Jan Egeland, the chairman of the United Nations Humanitarian Access Task Force in Syria, tweeted that evacuations were "in full swing" today.

Among the thousands of evacuees were 47 children, some critically sick and injured. They were rescued from an orphanage in eastern Aleppo, UNICEF said.

On Sunday, armed men set fire to buses en route to pick up civilians from Foua and Kefraya, according to Egeland and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory said it believed that members of the Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Fath al-Sham, formerly the Nusra Front, attacked the buses. A video shows burning buses near men shouting "God is greatest" and taking responsibility for the attacks.

Long-awaited evacuations from eastern Aleppo began Thursday, but the process broke down the next day. Syrian state TV accused rebels of firing on a convoy of evacuees at a checkpoint, while anti-government activists said pro-government militias blocked the passage.

"I tried [to leave], but we got blocked by Iranian and sectarian militias who stopped us," Monther Etaky, an eastern Aleppo anti-government activist, told ABC News Saturday after attempting to leave Friday. "They blocked the previous convoy, and we were just waiting for a long time. In the end, we received an order to return because the agreement had been canceled. We heard gunfire, and then people started running, and we went back."

Civilians, including the wounded, have reportedly been waiting for days to be evacuated from eastern Aleppo. Activists say some of the injured have died while waiting to be taken out of besieged part of the city.