Daraya lies just 7 km from the Syrian seat of power, but it was one of the first to rise against Assad's hardline rule. Syrian forces eventually surrounded the town and held it under siege for the past four years.
After four years of living under a Syrian government state of siege, the Damascus suburb of Daraya has effectively been reduced to a pile of rubble, forcing rebels to agree to give up the city in exchange for their own freedom.
A Syrian Army general said around 300 families of fighters are being evacuated from the town on Friday. That will be followed by approximately 700 fighters and 4,000 civilians departing on Saturday.
Herjalleh is the site of a government housing project for displaced people.
Rebels who remain opposed to the Syrian government would be transferred to Idlib, according to a Syrian army general.
"The town is no longer inhabitable," he said. "It has been completely destroyed."
Horrors of Daraya
Daraya became a symbol of the initial uprising in 2011 that began with peaceful protests against Assad's government. Subsequently, it degenerated into a civil war that has killed nearly 300,000 people.
During four years of siege only one convoy of international food aid entered the town. And that was in June, shortly after another convoy delivered medicine.
But distribution of the food aid was limited, as it was immediately followed by a heavy military bombardment by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Daraya lies just 7 km (4 miles) from Assad's seat of power. The suburb repeatedly repelled government forces attempting to retake the town, eventually plunging the country into civil war.
Many were killed execution style, as both the army and rebels blamed each other.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura lamented the devastation wrought upon the town, calling it "tragic that repeated appeals to lift the siege of Daraya... and cease the fighting have never been heeded."
Mistura said it is "imperative" that Daraya's residents be protected and not be forcefully evacuated.
"The world is watching," he said.
Meanwhile, in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry spent four hours locked in negotiations with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as the two men sought a broader agreement on fighting Islamist militants in Syria.
Such a deal could pave the way for talks on a political transition to end the five-year Syrian conflict.
bik/jil (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)