A Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy waits at the entrance of the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya, before rebels and residents start being evacuated under an agreement reached on Thursday between rebels and Syria's army, August 26, 2016. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
DARAYA, Syria, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Preparations are being made on Friday to evacuate nearly 5,000 people including rebels from Daraya, a besieged town west of the capital Damascus.
Ambulances as well as convoys from the Syrian Red Crescent are waiting at a government-held area of Daraya to evacuate 4,000 civilians and some 700 rebels.
Four buses have entered the town Friday afternoon to evacuate the armed rebels, with others ready to collect civilians.
Sources said the evacuation, part of a deal reached on Thursday between the armed rebels and the government army, will be in batches and are expected to last four days.
Under the deal, over 4,000 civilians will be evacuated to displacement shelters in government-controlled areas, while 700 rebels will hand over their heavy and medium weapons which will be transferred to the northwestern province of Idlib, a stronghold for the rebels' Jaish al-Fateh, or the Army of Conquest, state news agency SANA reported.
The rebels who don't want to evacuate can stay inside the town, after settling their criminal records with the government, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group said.
The civilians who want to stay will be provided with medical aid, the Observatory said.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the situation said calm prevails in the town after the deal was concluded.
Daraya has been out of the government control since 2012, but was later put under a tight siege by the Syrian government forces.